THE SOUTH DOWNS 219
will give a better idea of the proceedings than
any amount of description.
"Come, all my jolly boys, and we'll together go Abroad with our masters, to shear the lamb and ewe ; All in the merry month of June, of all times in the year, It always comes in season the ewes and lambs to shear ; And then we must work hard, boys, until our backs do
ache, And our master he will bring us beer whenever we do lack.
Our master he comes round to see our work is doing
well, And he cries, ' Shear them close, men, for there is but
little wool,' 'O yes, good master,' we reply, ' we'll do well as we can,' When our Captain calls, ' Shear close, boys!' to each
and every man. And at some places still we have this story all day long, 1 Close them, boys, and shear them well!' and this is all
And then our noble Captain doth unto our master say, 1 Come, let us have one bucket of your good ale, I pray.' He turns unto our Captain, and makes him this reply : 'You shall have the best of beer, I promise, presently.' Then out with the bucket pretty Betsy she doth come, And master says, 'Maid, mind and see that every man has some.'
This is some of our pastime while we the sheep do shear, And though we are such merry boys, we work hard, I
declare; And when 'tis night, and we are done, our master is
more free, And stores us well with good strong beer, and pipes and
tobaccee. So we do sit and drink, we smoke and sing and roar, Till we become more merry far than e'er we were before.