The Tinker

Who leads a happy life
If it's not the merry Tinker?
Not too old to have a Wife;
Not too much a thinker:
Through the meadows, over stiles,
Where there are no measured miles,
Day by day he finds his way
Among the lonely houses:
Right before the Farmer's door
Down he sits; his brows he knits;
Then his hammer he rouses;
Batter! batter! batter!
He begins to clatter;
And while the work is going on
Right good ale he bouzes;
And, when it is done, away he is gone;
And, in his scarlet coat,
With a merry note,
He sings the sun to bed;
And, without making a pother,
Finds some place or other
For his own careless head.

When in the woods the little Fowls
Begin their merry-making,
Again the jolly Tinker bowls
Forth with small leave-taking:
Through the valley, up the hill;
He can't go wrong, go where he will:
Tricks he has twenty,
And pastimes in plenty;
He's the terror of boys in the midst of their noise;
When the market Maiden,
Bringing home her lading,
Hath passed him in a nook,
With his outlandish look,
And visage grim and sooty,
Bumming, bumming, bumming,
What is that that's coming?
Silly Maid as ever was!
She thinks that she and all she has
Will be the Tinker's booty;
At the pretty Maiden's dread
The Tinker shakes his head,
Laughing, laughing, laughing,
As if he would laugh himself dead.
And thus, with work or none,
The Tinker lives in fun,
With a light soul to cover him;
And sorrow and care blow over him,
Whether he's up or a-bed.
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