Modern Street Ballads


Said Hodge, one day, to his son Ned,
“Good news for Neddy,—
I think it’s time that thou should’st wed;”
“Woat’s coming now?” thought Neddy.
“Old age, thou see’st, creeps on apace,
Old Time has led me a pretty long chace,
And thou should’st wed to keep up our race.”
“We’ll au’ll do what au con,” says Neddy.

“There’s farmer Giles’s daughter, Sue,”—
“Au knows her reet weel,” says Neddy,
“Well, her, my lad, I’d have you woo,”—
“She’s but so so,” thought Neddy.
“But tell me feythur, when au goa to woo,
Whot au mun say, aun what au mun do,
For if au knowe, au’m a Turk or a Jew,
But au’ll do whot au con,” says Neddy.

Says farmer Hodge “Come, listen, my son,”
Straight pricked up his ears, did Neddy,
“And I’ll tell thee the way thy mother I won,”
“Now for some fun,” thought Neddy.
“I wink’d, and I blink’d, and I look’d mighty shy,
At her, askance I threw a sheep’s eye,
Till she no longer my suit could deny;”
“Au’ll do it, by Gour,” says Neddy.

So, early next day, to a butcher he went,
Right full of glee was Neddy,
And three or four shillings in sheep’s eyes he spent,
On the wings of love flew Neddy.
And when to the damsel he came to woo,
Out of his pocket some sheep’s eyes drew,
Which one by one at the damsel he threw,
“Au have hur, cock-sure,” says Neddy.

The delicate damsel stood with surprise,
Still firing away kept Neddy,
“What the deuce do you mean by these nasty sheep’s eyes?”
“Ask my feythur abewt it,” says Neddy.
The joke was so good, she could not withstand,
And said, “My purse and money are at your command,”
And dropt him a curtsey, and gave him her hand,
“Sheep’s eyes for ever!” cried Neddy.

* There is a somewhat similar story in Dr. Andrew Boorde’s “Wise Man of Gotham,” printed in Henry the Eighth’s time, but the dénouement is not so pleasant, as the lady dismissed her lover with some very strong language.

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