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   English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
20. Get Up and Bar the Door
 
Traditional Ballads
 
 
IT fell about the Martinmas time,
  And a gay time it was then,
When our good wife got puddings to make,
  And she’s boild them in the pan.
 
The wind sae cauld blew south and north,        5
  And blew into the floor;
Quoth our goodman to our goodwife,
  “Gae 1 out and bar the door.”
 
“My hand is in my hussyfskap, 2
  Goodman, as ye may see;        10
An it shoud nae be barrd this hundred year,
  It’s no be barrd for me.”
 
They made a paction tween them twa,
  They made it firm and sure,
That the first word whaeer shoud speak,        15
  Shoud rise and bar the door.
 
Then by there came two gentlemen,
  At twelve o’clock at night,
And they could neither see house nor hall,
  Nor coal nor candle-light.        20
 
“Now whether is this a rich man’s house,
  Or whether is it a poor?”
But neer a word wad ane o them speak,
  For barring of the door.
 
And first they ate the white puddings,        25
  And then they ate the black;
Tho muckle thought the goodwife to hersel,
  Yet neer a word she spake.
 
Then said the one unto the other,
  “Here, man, tak ye my knife;        30
Do ye tak aff the auld man’s beard,
  And I’ll kiss the goodwife.”
 
“But there’s nae water in the house,
  And what shall we do than?”
“What ails thee at the pudding-broo, 3        35
  That boils into the pan?”
 
O up then started our goodman,
  An angry man was he:
“Will ye kiss my wife before my een,
  And scad 4 me wi pudding-bree?”        40
 
Then up and started our goodwife,
  Gied three skips on the floor:
“Goodman, you’ve spoken the foremost word,
  Get up and bar the door.”
 
Note 1. Housewifery. [back]
Note 2. Water in which the puddings were boiled. [back]
Note 3. Scald. [back]
Note 4. Dry, make. [back]
 

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