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Broadside ballad entitled 'Forfar Fair'
OR TAM, AN' MEG
COPIES OF THIS CAN BE HAD at the Poet's Box,
When I was a prentice in Forfar,
I was a braw lad an' a stout;
That lived at the fit o' the Spout.
And 0 ! she was haughty an' vain,
Forbye a bit house o' their ain.
Nae affspring had they but ae dother,
A blinkin' bit bodie was she ;
The jade she thought naething o' me.
That couldna do naething but sew ;
Gin I but just preed her bit mou'.
I gat tea ilka mornin' for porritch,
An' O ! but I liket it fine ;
To mak it lie sad i' my wime.
By snodly heel-capin' her hose;
A caupfu' o' cabbage-kail brose.
Five years I was bund by indenture,
An' durstna as muckle as venture,
To speak to the lasses ava.
My master at wark keept me sair:
An' syne I gat leave to the fair.
Fast, fast thro' the green then I yarkit,
Syne when I gat into the market,
"For I'se hae a bouse wi' the lasses,
I'll try for to meet Meg as she passes,
That lives wi' John Robb o' the mill.
Syne just i' the glowr o' the gloamin,
As I sauntert in to the town
Poor thing she was lookin' sair down ;
But I filled her pouch fu' o' sweeties,
An' back to an ale-house we cam' ;
To let her hame wantin' a dram.
There tailors an' weavers sat cockin ;
Wi' masons an' souters an' a';
Some cried to 'bring in the braw lassie,
An' rapped on the table till glasses
The wife brought her kebbuck aye handy,
Wi' brown scouthert bannocks enew;
Till Meg an' me bath were near fou.
But Maggie began to think shame,
I'm fleyed that we tyne the gate hame.
Syne north thro' the town we baith stoitot,
But devil a stym could I see,
An' Meg was nae better than me.
Till Meggy she tint her braw mucht ;
An' ower we played skelp in a ditch.
Sair, sair did my Maggy misca' me.
When she raise an shook her new gown,
But Maggy gat hame to her mither,
An' I to my needle again ;
For fare the auld tailor sud ken.
He thoucht I wid merry his dother,
I kent that was aye his intent ;
Auld Gizzie wid gi'en her consent.
For I'll marry sweet Maggy Jack,
An' syne we'll get waens in a crack.
PRINTED at the POET's Box, by WM. SHEPHERD,
Probable period of publication:
1880-1885 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.70(77)