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Courtship & marriage

John and his wife on using tea

(43) John and his wife on using tea

                 JOHN AND HIS WIFE


                       USING TEA.

Come neighbours near, and I'll tell you a tale,
To lend your attention I'm sure you won't fail,
Concerning a couple that lives in Armaugh,
Their conversation would make a horse laugh.

As John from the market came t'other day,
He caught his wife at a wee drop of tea,
He up with his foot, gave the table a kick,
Saying, you and your tea-pot may go to old Nick.

She says, quit your folly, I'd have you to be civil,
I'll comfort my heart if you were at the devil—
In a public-house you spend all your days,
So rumble that now in your jug, if you please.

You'll grater potatoes to make your palue,
Eat eggs and fresh butter, and make me burgoo,
Because I won't give you a wee bit of you,
Then not one drop you allow for poor John.

If you get burgoo, it is very good cheer,
You nourish your body with whiskey and beer—
It is all the comfort I have night or day,
To cheer my poor heart with a wee drop of tea.

You impudent jade, take care what you say,
You are bound by the laws of the land to obey,
And while I'm able, I vow and declare,
I will not allow you the breeches to wear.

Now from the commands of the church you stray,
When you do me nourish, why then I'll obey—
I'm bone of your bone, none can us disjoin,
You know by this half the breeches are mine.

To say you're my flesh and my bone, it's a fib,
When woman was made, 'twas of a crook'd rib,
And just like mules, they are cross in the grain,
You might as well think a wild ass for to tame :

You go with your beaver, your scarf and veil,
And must have flounces round your gown tail,
With Spanish leather shoes and apron so black,
While I must go wanting a shirt to my back.

Now what you spend in tobacco and beer,
Would buy you two suits of clothes in a year,
And yet you exclaim against me night and day,
For taking an innocent wee cup of tea.

I find no longer I need persevere,
For you are resolved the breeches to wear,
To strive to conquer a woman it is vain,
'Twould be easier to conquer an army in Spain,

All you childish husbands, take warning, I pray,
Don't rail at your wives for using the tea,
For if you flail them from head to the toe,
You may depend upon it they'll have the last blow.

[NLS note: a graphic appears here - see image of page]

          OH, NO ! WE NEVER
                  MENTION HER.

Oh, no ! we never mention her,
Her name is never heard,
My lips are now forbid to speak,
That once familiar word.
From sport to sport they hurry me,
To banish my regret ;
And when they win a smile from me,
They think that I forget.

They bid me seek in change of scene,
The charms that others see ;
But were I in a foreign land,
They'd find no change in me.
'Tis true, that I behold no more,
The valley where we met ;
Nor do 1 see the hawthorn tree,
But how can I forget ?

For oh ! there are so many things,
Recal the past to me ;
The breeze upon the sunny hills,
The billows of the sea.
The rosy tint that decks the sky,
Before the sun is set ;
Ay, every leaf I look upon,
Forbids me to forget.

They tell me she is happy now,
The gayest of the gay ;
They hint that she forgets me,
But I heed not what they say.
Like me perhaps, she struggles with
Each feeling of regret ;
But if she loves as I have loved,
She never can forget.

         Walker, Printer, Durham.

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