The Bould Yeoman

The Bould Yeoman
By PIERCE EGAN in Captain Macheath.


A chant I’ll tip to you about a High-pad pal so down, 1 (missing)
With his pops, and high-bred prad which brought to him renown; 2 (missing)
On the road he cut a dash, to him ’twas delight!
And if culls would not surrender, he shewed the kiddies fight! 3 (missing)
  With his pops so bright and airy,
  And his prad just like a fairy,
  He went out to nab the gold! 4 (missing)
    Derry down, down, derry down,


He met a bould yeoman, and bid him for to stand;
“If I do, I’m damn’d!” said he, “although you cut it grand.
I’m an old English farmer, and do not me provoke
I’ve a cudgel, look ye here, it’s a prime tough bit of oak!
  And I’ll give you some gravy, 5 (missing)
  Of that I’ll take my davy, 6 (missing)
  If you try to prig my gold 7 (missing)
    Derry down.”


Then the High-toby gloque drew his cutlass so fine;
Says he to the farmer, “you or I for the shine!”
And to it they went both, like two Grecians of old,
Cutting, slashing, up and down, and all for the gold!
  ’Twas cut for cut while it did last,
  Thrashing, licking, hard and fast,
  Hard milling for the gold. 8 (missing)
    Derry down.


The High-pad quickly cut the farmer’s towel in twain— 9 (missing)
Pulled out his barking-iron to send daylight through his brain; 10 (missing)
But said he I will not down you, if you will but disburse
Your rowdy with me, yeoman—I’m content to whack your purse! 11 (missing)
  Down with the dust, and save your life, 12 (missing)
  Your consent will end our strife,
  Ain’t your life worth more than gold?
    Derry down.


Hand up the pewter, farmer, you shall have a share 13 (missing)
A kindness, for a toby gloque, you must say is rare;
That’s right—tip up the kelter, it will make my bones amends, 14 (missing)
And wherever we may meet, farmer, we’ll be the best of friends!
  So mount your trotter and away, 15 (missing)
  And if you ever come this way,
  Take better care of your gold!
     Derry down.


Now listen to me, lads, and always you’ll do well,
Empty every clie of duke, commoner, or swell; 16 (missing)
But if you stop a game cove, who has little else than pluck, 17 (missing)
Do not clean him out, and you’ll never want for luck. 18 (missing)
  So High-pads drink my toast,
  Let honour be our boast,
  And never pluck a poor cull of his gold.
    Derry down.


See Note to “Sonnets for The Fancy” p. 225. Captain Macheath was one of Egan’s latest, and by no means one of his best, productions. It is now very scarce.

Taken from Musa Pedestris, Three Centuries of Canting Songs and Slang Rhymes [1536―1896], collected and annotated by John S. Farmer.

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. . .
The Game Of High Toby
The Double Cross
The Thieves’ Chaunt
The House Breaker’s Song
The Faking Boy To The Crap Is Gone
The Nutty Blowen
The Faker’s New Toast
My Mother
The High-Pad’s Frolic
The Dashy, Splashy.... Little Stringer
The Bould Yeoman
The Bridle-Cull and his little Pop-Gun
Jack Flashman
Miss Dolly Trull
The By-Blow Of The Jug
The Cadger’s Ball
Dear Bill, This Stone-Jug
The Leary Man
A Hundred Stretches Hence
The Chickaleary Cove
Blooming Æsthetic
. . .