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Broadside ballad entitled 'Margaret and the Minister, A True Tale'


Margaret and the Minister.


Copies can always be had in the POET'S Box, 80 London Street, Glasgow.

A douse, religious kintry wife,
That liv'd a quiet, contented life,
To show respect unto the priest
Wham she esteemed within her breast,
Catch'd twa fat hens, baith big an' plump
An' butter she pack'd up a lump ;
Which she a present meant to gi'e him,
An' wi' them aff she gaed to see him,
Dress'd in her ain auld kintry fas'on,
Wi' brown stuff gown, an' braw white bussin;
A dark blue cloak an' hood co'erd a'.
Sae lade, sae clad, she marched awa';
Thus trudg'd alang?and hence, believe,
At the manse door she did arrive :
Rapp't?was admitted by the maid ;
Ben to the kitchen wi' her gade?
Syne for the minister enquir'd;
Who soon came but, as she desir'd ;
When she to him a curtchie made;
An' he to her thus smiling said :?


" O ! my dear Margaret, is this you ?
I'm glad to see you; how d'ye do ?
How's Tamos, my auld worthy frien' ?
How's Jock, your son, and daughter, Jean


." They're gaily, sir, we're a' meat heal,
Yet Tamie's e'en but unco frail;
But, here's some butter, I present ye,
Which, wi' thir hens, I compliment ye."


" Howt, Margaret! this speaks t' expense
But thanks ye'se get for recompense:
Wi' gratefu' heart, I freely tell
Ye're kind an' ever like yoursel'."


" Whisht, sir I wi' thanks; nae thanks ava;
Ye're worthy mair; the gift's but sma';
But this acknowledgment here from us,
Means ye're beloved by me an' Tamos."


" Sic favours, sure, I ne'er expected,
Yet blythe am I, I'm sae respected :
Fling aff your cloak and follow me ;
Come ben, an' rest, an' crack a wee ;
'Tis no sae aft ye come to see us,
Ye'll wait and tak' your dinner wi' us;
A's ready, waiting on my comin';
Come ben, then Margaret, honest woman."


"Na, na, sir ! dinna speak o' that,
I'll tak' nae dinner, weel I wat:
Wi' gentle manners, (ye will grant it,)
I've ever yet been unacquantet."


" The manners that ye use at hame,
Use here and banish fear and shame.
The company's but few, they're wholly
My wife, a preacher, Jess, an' Polly ;
Ye'se tak' your dinner e'er you gang,
Just do like me, ye'll no gae wrang."

To dine at last she was advised;
Gade glowerin' ben like ane surpris'd;
Spread wide her gown, her head erecked ;
Confused and awkwardly she becked;
While rev'rend Mess John, kind and fair.
Conducted her unto a chair :
An' tauld them in a knacky sentence,
She was an intimate acquantance,

Blate like, aroun' them a' she gaz'd ;

But at the table was amaz'd:

She ne'er before saw sicken fairlies,

Sae mony antic tirly-whirlies!?

How to behave when she was eating,

In sic a nicy, gentle meeting,

She had great fears?her heart was beating;

Her legs did shake?her face was sweating;

But still, she was resolved, anon,

To do in all things like Mess John.

A' ready sitting face to face,
His rev'rence, gravely, said the grace;
Then, wi' a frank an' open air,
Bade them fa' on, an' lib'ral share?
But, he being wi' the palsy troubled,
In lifting spoonfu's aften dribbled;
Sae to prevent the draps o' broth,
He prin'd to's breast, the table cloth,
Now Margaret's settled resolution,
Was quickly put in execution ;
For as was said already, she did
Resolve to do whatever he did.
She therefore, also, like the priest,
Prin'd the cloth firmly to her briest,
Wi a prin twa inches lang at least;
Which smiles frae them at table drew,
As far's gude breeding wad allow.

Sae soon as they the kail had supped,

To glancin' knives an' forks they gripped ;

Wi' them to weel filled plates fell keenly;

Ate?took a drink an' cracked frien'ly,

But Margaret only was a hearer,

She was sae blate. nought seem'd to cheer her,

Sae mony things appearing new,

Came ilka minute in her view,

And filled her mind sae fu' o' dread,

Cracking was clean out o' her head.

In course, the pastor, her example,
That brought her there to feed sae ample,
She notic'd twa or three times take
Out o' a dish, flaik after flaik
o' mustard ;?which she judg'd to be
Gravie, or some delicious brie.
For Margaret never did peruse it,
Ken d na it's name, nor how to use it;
But now determined to partake o't,
She wi' a teaspoon took a flaik o't!
Heedless, she supped up the whole !
Then! instantly she looked droll.

Dung doited in a moment's space,

She hung her head and threw her face !

Flung down her knife and fork, displeas'd,

Syne wi' baith her hands her nose she seiz'd,

While it did bite and blin' her een;

The like o't, sure, was never seen :

For, startin' up as fast as able,

The hale gear tumbled aff the table !

The crash o' croak'ry ware resounded,
Plates truntlin'?ilka ain confounded !?
Straight to the door she frantic flew,
An' after her Mess John she drew;
Which drave the company a' throughither.
As they were kippled baith thegither.
But, in a crack the prins brak' loose,
An' Margaret, ravin', left the house.

Hameward, in haste, she hobbl'd, sweating;
Tell'd Tamos the disaster, greeting;
Wrung baith her hands, an' solemn sware,
To dine wi' gentle folk nae mair.

Saturday morning, July 15, 1871.

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Likely date of publication: 1871   shelfmark: RB.m.143(001)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Margaret and the Minister, A True Tale'
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