MEG MERRILIES - Ben Jonson Poems

 
 

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MEG MERRILIES

Old Meg she was a Gipsy,
     And liv'd upon the Moors:
Her bed it was the brown heath turf,
     And her house was out of doors.

Her apples were swart blackberries,
     Her currants pods o' broom;
Her wine was dew of the wild white rose,
     Her book a churchyard tomb.

Her Brothers were the craggy hills,
     Her Sisters larchen trees--
Alone with her great family
     She liv'd as she did please.

No breakfast had she many a morn,
     No dinner many a noon,
And 'stead of supper she would stare
     Full hard against the Moon.

But every morn of woodbine fresh
     She made her garlanding,
And every night the dark glen Yew
     She wove, and she would sing.

And with her fingers old and brown
     She plaited Mats o' Rushes,
And gave them to the Cottagers
     She met among the Bushes.

Old Meg was brave as Margaret Queen
     And tall as Amazon:
An old red blanket cloak she wore;
     A chip hat had she on.
God rest her aged bones somewhere--
     She died full long agone!