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Crime & punishment

Model gaol

                    THE MODEL GAOL


Good people all give ear I pray,
And mark you well what I do say,
To my misfortunes great and small,
O list and I will tell you all,
I used to lead a joyous life,
Devoid of care, devoid of strife,
Could go to bed and fall asleep,
Nor ugly sprites around me creep,
But, oh ! the touts and cupid gad,
That nearly drove me romping mad,
They put me in a bridewell mail,
And whipp'd me off to                Jail.

Now when we had got to the end of the rout,
The turnkey turned my pockets out,
To see if I had got such stuff,
As blunt or grub, tobacco or snuff,
They took me then to try my size.
Colour of my hair—colour of my eyes,
The length of my nose from root to tip,
Or if I had more than one top lip,
Then straight with me in the yard they goes,
And offer'd me a suit of clothes.
The kids came out and did me hail,
With—another new cock for                Jail.

Then one of them said with a roguish leer,
My faking kid what brought you here ?
Says I, now, what do you think you lout,
Would bring me here that was'nt a tout,
Then all came round, like so many fools,
And one of them spoke about the rules,
That each new cock must sing a song,
Or tell a tale bob knows how long,
Or break his wind to give them a whack,
Or else be tied up to black Jack,
And there they'd wollop him tooth and nail
With a large wet towel in                Jail.

I trotted and walk'd about the yard,
Thinking my case was wondrous hard,
When all at once I heard a din,
The deputy wardsman shouts fall in,
Then bawling down the yard they go,
Like beasts turned put of a wild beast show,
Some crack'd in skin, some in mind,
And some thro' cracks show'd there behind,
Then one by one went round the tub,
To get the county allowance of grub,—
We blow'd our ribs out like a sail,
With skilly and whack in               Jail

When half-past four came one of them said,
Twas nearly time to go to bed,
And truth I found from him to creep,
For soon we all fell in four deep,
The turnkey shouts as stiff as starch,
Right face, and then quick march,
We did, and caused a curious rush,
Like monkies marching round a brush,
Such clinking of clogs, and clinking keys,
Croaking of bellies, and shaking of knees,
And cursing of beds as hard as a nail,
Oh, 'twould starve the devil in               Jail.

At seven next morning up we got,
Each ston'd his cell and cleaned his pot,
We then about the yard did lurch,
Till all fell in to go to church,
And there such dresses met my view,
One arm was red the other was blue,
One leg was yellow, the other was grey,
When the parson came up to preach and pray,
He said Elijah went up in a cloud,
And Lazarus walked about in a shroud,
And Jonah lived inside of a whale,
'T was better than living in                Jail.

When service was over all come back,
At eight fell in for skilly and whack,
Like pigs we crouched all of a lump,
At nine each took a turn at pump,
At ten we raised a glorious mill,
And fibbed each other with right good will,
At twelve we got a quiet house,
Then all fell in for cans of scouse,
But if there's a row, no matter how droll,
They pop the kids in Pompey's hole,
With whack and water cock their tails,
Oh, there's glorious doings in               Jail

But all young men be ruled by me,
Don't let your passion act so free,
Keep from each blue lobster's claw,
Oh, shun each thieftakers paw,
But if the fates should me increase,
And make me deputy of police,
And this blue bottle turn about,         457
O, would I not serve him nicely out,
I'd bone the tout in half a crack,
And feed him well on skilly and whaox,
Oh, would I not make him drop his tail,
He would hunt for his dinner in                Jail.

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