Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
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T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
 
Room for a Jovial Tinker: Old Brass to Mend
Roxburghe Ballads
 
(Anonymous. Roxburghe Ballads, c. 1616)

IT was a Lady of the North she loved a Gentleman,
And knew not well what course to take, to use him now and then.
Wherefore she writ a Letter, and sealed it with her hand,
And bid him be a Tinker, to mend both pot and pan
  With a hey ho, hey, derry derry down; with hey trey, down down, derry.        5
 
And when the merry Gentleman the Letter he did read,
He got a Budget on his back, and Apron with all speed,
His pretty shears and pincers, so well they did agree,
With a long pike-staff upon his back, came tripping o’er the Lee.
  With a hey ho, hey, derry derry down; with hey trey, down down, derry.        10
 
When he came to the Lady’s house, he knocked at the gate,
Then answered this Lady gay, “Who knocketh there so late?”
“’Tis I, Madam,” the Tinker said, “I work for gold and fee:
If you have any broken pots or pans, come bring them all to me.”
  With a hey ho, hey, derry derry down; with hey trey, down down, derry.        15
 
“I am the bravest Tinker that lives beneath the sun,
If you have any work to do, you shall have it well done;
I have brass within my Budget, and punching under my Apron,
I’m come unto your Ladyship, and mean to mend your Coldron.”
  With a hey ho, hey, derry derry down; with hey trey, down down, derry.        20
 
“I prethee,” said the Lady gay, “bring now thy budget in,
I have store of work for thee to do, if thou wilt once begin.”
Now when the Tinker he came in, that did the budget bear,
“God bless,” quoth he, “your Ladyship! God save you Madam fair.”
  With hey ho, hey, derry derry down; with hey trey, down down, derry.        25
 
But when the Lady knew his face, she then began to wink,
“Hast[e], lusty Butler!” then quoth she, “to fetch the man some drink.
Give him such meat as we do eat, and drink as we do use,
It is not for a Tinker’s Trade good liquor to refuse.”
  With hey ho, hey, derry derry down; with hey trey, down down, derry.        30
 
But when that he had eat and drunk, the truth of all is so,
The Lady took him by the sleeve, her work to him to show,
“Set up thy tools, Tinker,” quoth she, “and see there be none lost,
And mend my Kettle handsomely, what ere it doth me cost.”
  With hey ho, hey, derry derry down; with hey trey, down down, derry.        35
 
“Your work, Madam, shall be well done, if you will pay me for’t;
For every nail that I do drive, you shall give me a mark.
If I do not drive the nail to th’ head, I’ll have nothing for my pain,
And what I do receive of you shall be return’d again.”
  With hey ho, hey, derry derry down; with hey trey, down down, derry.        40
 
At last being come into the Room, where he the work should do,
The Lady lay down on the bed, so did the Tinker too:
Although the Tinker knocked amain, the Lady was not offended,
But before that she rose from the bed, her Coldron was well mended.
  With hey ho, hey, derry derry down; with hey trey, down down, derry.        45
 
But when his work was at an end, which he did in the dark,
She put her hand into her purse and gave him twenty mark,
“Here’s mon[e]y for thy work,” said she, “and I thank thee for thy pain,
And when my Coldron mending lacks I’ll send for thee again.”
  With hey ho, hey, derry derry down; with hey trey, down down, derry.        50
 
The Tinker he was well content for that which he had done,
So took his budget on his back, and quickly he was gone.
Then the Lady to her husband went, “O my dear Lord,” quoth she,
“I have set the bravest Tinker at work that ever you did see.”
  With hey ho, hey, derry derry down; with hey trey, down down, derry.        55
 
“No fault at all this Tinker hath, but he takes dear for his work,
That little time that he wrought here it cost me twenty mark.”
“If you had been so wise,” quoth he, “for to have held your own,
Before you set him to this work the price you might have known.”
  With hey ho, hey, derry derry down; with hey trey, down down, derry.        60
 
“Pray hold your peace, my Lord,” quoth she, “and think it not to[o] dear.
If you could do’t so well ’twould save you forty pound a year.”
With that the Lord most lovingly, to make all things amends,
He kindly kist his Lady gay, and so they both were friends.
  With hey ho, hey, derry derry down; with hey trey, down down, derry.        65
 
You merry Tinkers, every one, that hear this new-made Sonnet,
When as you do a Lady’s work be sure you think upon it;
Drive home your nails to the very head, and do your work profoundly,
And then no doubt your Mistresses will pay you for it soundly.
  With hey ho, hey, derry derry down; with hey trey, down down, derry.        70
 
 
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