The Old Cloak

This winter's weather it waxeth cold,
And frost it freezeth on every hill,
And Boreas blows his blast so bold         [the North Wind
That all our cattle are like to spill.        [abort
Bell, my wife, she loves no strife;
She said unto me quietlye,
'Rise up, and save cow Crumbock's life'.
Man, put thine old cloak about thee!'

He. O Bell my wife, why dost thou flyte?         [scold
Thou kens my cloak is very thin:
It is so bare and over worn,
A crickč thereon cannot renn.         [cricket; run
Then I'll no longer borrow nor lend;
For once I'll new apparell'd be;        [clothed
To-morrow I'll to town and spend;
For I'll have a new cloak about me.

She. Cow Crumbock is a very good cow:
She has been always true to the pail:
She has help'd us to butter and cheese, I trow,
And other things she will not fail.
I would be loth to see her pine.
Good husband, counsel take of me:
It is not for us to go so fine
Man, take thine old cloak about thee!

He. My cloak it was a very good cloak,
It hath been always true to the wear;
But now it is not worth a groat :         [fourpence
I have had it four and forty year.
Sometime it was of cloth in grain:        [scarlet cloth
Tis now but a sigh clout, as you may see:         [straining rag
It will neither hold out wind nor rain;
And I'll have a new cloak about me.

She. It is four and forty years ago
Sine the one of us the other did ken;        [know
And we have had, betwixt us two,
Of children either nine or ten :
We have brought them up to women and men;
In the fear of God I trow they be:         [deem
And why wilt thou thyself misken?        [not understand
Man, take thine old cloak about thee!

He. O Bell my wife, why dost thou flyte?
Now is now, and then was then:
Seek now all the world throughout,
Thou kens not clowns from gentlemen:        [peasants
They are clad in black, green, yellow and blue,
So far above their own degree.        [station
Once in my life I'll take a view;
For I'll have a new cloak about me.

She. King Stephen was a worthy peer;
His breeches cost him but a crown;
He held them sixpence all too dear,
Therefore he called the tailor 'lown.'        [loon
He was a king and wore the crown,
And thou'se but of a low degree:
It 's pride that puts this country down:
Man, take thy old cloak about thee!

He. Bell my wife, she loves not strife,
Yet she will lead me, if she can:
And to maintain an easy life
I oft must yield, though I'm good-man.
It 's not for a man with a woman to threap.         [quarrel
Unless he first give o'er the plea:
As we began, so will we keep,
And I'll take my old cloak about me.

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