Blind beggar's daughter of Bethnal Green


Verse 1

It's of a blind beggar in London did dwell,
And he had a fine daughter, a beautiful girl;
"Shall I seek my fortune, dear father?" said she -
That favour was granted to pretty Bessee.

Verse 2

She started from London as I have heard say,
And arrived at Romford the very same day;
And when that she came there well hired was she,
So dearly beloved was pretty Bessee.

Verse 3

She had not been there a very long time,
Before a rich squire a-courting her came;
"Your skirt shall be lined with jewels," said he,
"If you will but wed me, my pretty Bessee."

Verse 4

"Oh yes! I am willing to wed you," said she,
"But first ask the father of pretty Bessee."
"Oh who is your father, come tell unto me?
And I will go with you your father to see."

Verse 5

"My father," she said, "is soon to be seen,
He's called the Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green;
Each day he sits begging for charitie,
And his is the father of pretty Bessee."

Verse 6

"If your father's a beggar you'll not do for me,
For no beggar's daughter my lady shall be;
No blind beggar's daughter my lady shall be."
So scornful he turned from pretty Bessee.

Verse 7

Then up stepped another, more rich than the first,
"If you're a beggar's daughter you're never the worse;
Your skirts shall be lined with jewels," said he,
"And I will go with you your father to see."

Verse 8

They started from Romford that very same day,
And went unto London along the highway;
And when they arrived, her father to see,
He was pleased to hear of his daughter Bessee.

Verse 9

"My daughter's not clothed in velvet and pearl,
But I will drop guineas with you for my girl;"
So they dropped and they each dropped a guinea on the ground,
And they dropped till they'd each dropped three thousand pounds.

Verse 10

And when that the squire had dropped all his store,
He cried, "Loving father, I can now drop no more."
"Then take her and make her your lady so bright,
For lords, dukes and squires this wedding will spite.

Verse 11

The day you are married I will throw her down
A hundred bright guineas to buy her a gown."
Then answered the squire, "Contented we will be,
There's none to compare with pretty Bessee."

Verse 12

Then, all things being ready, they went hand in hand,
To be joined in wedlock with God's holy band;
And those that were Bessie's proud suitors before,
Their own flesh in anger they cruelly tore.

Verse 13

Thus pretty Bessee was matched with her knight,
And made a rich lady in other's despite;
A more beautiful bride there never was seen,
Than the blind beggar's daughter of Bethnal Green.