Parson and the butcher boy


Verse 1

In Prestbury ancient village, very many years ago,
Lived a vicar of that parish, 'tis a Godly place you know;
He was watchful of his little flock, and studied well his Bible,
And yet a serious failing had, for honour was his idol.

Verse 2

Woe to that luckless village lad, or lass, that passed him by,
Without due honour showing to their pilot of the sky;
For on the bold offender's head, the vials of his wrath,
Would warn them if their duty, when next they crossed the path.

Verse 3

In the neighbouring town of Cheltenham, lived a butcher, who supplied
The vicar with his wether legs, and dainty joints beside;
He had engaged a village lad, for he was getting stout,
To cleanse the place, to close the shop and take the errands out.

Verse 4

Rough as a Greenland bear was Jack, with rude but ready wit,
But person, place and station never troubled him one bit;
Unskilled to fame, or flatter aught, upon this earthly ball,
He had the self same merry smile and roguish grin for all.

Verse 5

'Behold thee! Jack from Prestbury, for the first and only time,
To carry to the minister the wherewithal to dine;
Who, looking from his study, felt amazed to see the bore,
Walk boldly in through his front gate, and rattle his front door.'

'What gauntless, untaught, ill-bred youth does thus assail the place?
To all the others I have seen he is a dire disgrace;
He threw the front door open wide, and through the looked irate, Jack offered him the basket, with - 'Sir, I brought the mate/'

Verse 6

'Ill-mannered boy! And do you dare thus on my front door knock;
It's a mystery to me the door survived the shock!
'Of all the broad faced Gloucester calves you are the vilest sample,
Behold, sir! And I'll teach you how to do it by example.

Verse 7

Give me the basket. Come in here. Behind me close the door.
Just let me walk around my lawn, your conduct grieves me sore;
And when I knock upon the door, you open unto me,
And I will show you plainly what your conduct ought to be.

Verse 8

Jack scratched his block, and closed the door, then to himself he said -
'He's gone to show I how to act, because of my thick head;
But when the parson shows I how, I ought to act to he,
Be hanged if I don't show he how he ought to act to me.

Verse 9

A gentle tap came at the door, Jack opened it and there,
With humble look the parson stood, and meek submissive air;
Then, leaning slightly forward, with his right hand to his head,
I've brought a leg of mutton for his reverence, sir.' He said.

Verse 10

'All right,' says Jack, 'I'm glad my boy, good manners you don't lack,
But when you comes next time, please take it to the back;
Go take it round at once my lad, and give it to my maid,
There are no dogs to bite you, so you needn't be afraid,
And as the day is cold and wet, tell her 'tis my desire,
That thee should'st stand and warm thyself before her kitchen fire.

Verse 11

Go warm thy poor hands and feet, and thee should'st taste our chine,
And thee should'st have a glass of our old elderberry wine,
And when thee'st drank and warmed thyself, as long as thee be willing,
Just call on I as thee goes back, and I'll give ye a shilling.