|1: An auld beggarman cam ower the lea,
Wi many's a fine tale tae tell tae me;
"O guidwife for your charity,
Wad ye lodge a beggarman?"
Liddle el ti tow row ray.
2: An the nicht wis cauld, the carle wis wet,
Intae the ingle neuk he sat;
He's taen his meal pyoks aff his back,
An aye he rantit an he sang.
3: An fen the auldwife she wis fast asleep,
Intae the dother's bed he did creep;
Intae the dother's bed he did creep,
He wis a gey auld beggarman.
4: "An noo if I wis black as I am white,
Like the snaw that lies ahin yon dyke;
I'd dress masel fu beggar-like,
An awa wi you I'd gang."
5: "Aye, but lassie, lassie ye are far ower young,
An ye hanna got the cant nor the beggin tongue;
Ye hanna got the cant or the beggin tongue,
An wi me ye canna gyang.
6: "Aye, but I'll bend my back and I'll boo ma knee,
I'll pit a black patch ower ae ee;
An for a beggar they'll tak me,
An awa wi you I'll gyang."
7: Noo these twa thegither they hae laid up a plot,
Tae rise twa oors afore the fowk;
Sae cannily he's slippit the lock,
An it's oot ower the fields they ran.
8: An it's early that mornin the auldwife arose,
An cannily pit on her claes;
An stracht tae the servant's bed she gaes,
Tae speir for the peer auld man.
9: An the servant gaed far the auld man lay,
The sheets wis cauld, he wis away;
She's lifted up her hands, crying, "Weel-a-day!
Has ony o oor gweed gear gane?"
10: An some ran tae the coffer an some ran tae the kist,
But nothin wis awa that could be missed;
She's lifted up her hands, crying, "Praise be tae the Blessed!
That we hae lodged an honest auld man."
11: "Noo that nothin is awa that we can learn,
There's kye tae milk, there's milk tae kirn;
Gae but tae the room, lass, an wauken up the bairn,
An aye, an bid her come speedily ben."
12: So the servant gaed far the dother lay,
The sheets wis cauld, she wis away;
The sheets wis cauld an she wis away,
She wis awa wi the beggar man.
13: An it's some rade on horseback, some ran on fit,
It's aa bit the auldwife, she wisna fit;
She's hirpled up an doun fae hip tae hip,
An aye she has cursed an banned.
14: Far awa oot ower the lea,
Fu snug in a glen far nane could see;
These twa mi muckle sport an glee,
Fae a new cheese cut a whang.
15: Noo a few years later, mebbe twa, mebbe three,
That same auld beggar man cam ower the lea;
"O guidwife for your cherity,
Wad ye lodge a beggar man?"
16: "O noo a beggarman, a beggarman I'd never lodge again,
I haed a dother, een o ma ain;
I haed a dother, Jeannie wis her name,
An she's awa wi a beggar man."
17: "Aye, bit aulwifie, aulwifie fit wad ye dee,
A sicht o yer ain daughter Jean tae see;
A sicht o yer ain daughter Jeannie for tae see,
Her that's awa wi the beggar man?"
18: "For yonder she's comin oot ower the lea,
Wi many's a fine tale tae tell tae ye;
She's a bairn on her back, she's anither at her knee,
She's anither on the road comin hame.
19: "An it's yonder she's comin intae the bower,
Wi silks an satins an mony's a flooer;
She's lifted up her airms an she's praised the oor,
She's awa wi the beggar man.
Liddle el ti tow row ray.