The Wolfe New Ballad of Jane Roney and Mary Brown
An igstrawnary tail I vill tell you this veek— I stood in the Court of A'Beckett the Beak, Vere Mrs. Jane Roney, a vidow, I see, Who charged Mary Brown with a robbin of she. This Mary was pore and in misery once, And she came to Mrs. Roney it's more than twelve monce. She adn't got no bed, nor no dinner nor no tea, And kind Mrs. Roney gave Mary all three. Mrs. Roney kep Mary for ever so many veeks, (Her conduct disgusted the best of all Beax,) She kep her for nothink, as kind as could be, Never thinkin that this Mary was a traitor to she. "Mrs. Roney, O Mrs. Roney, I feel very ill; Will you just step to the Doctor's for to fetch me a pill?" "That I will, my pore Mary," Mrs. Roney says she; And she goes off to the Doctor's as quickly as may be. No sooner on this message Mrs. Roney was sped, Than hup gits vicked Mary, and jumps out a bed; She hopens all the trunks without never a key— She bustes all the boxes, and vith them makes free. Mrs. Roney's best linning, gownds, petticoats, and close, Her children's little coats and things, her boots, and her hose, She packed them, and she stole 'em, and avay vith them did flee. Mrs. Roney's situation—you may think vat it vould be! Of Mary, ungrateful, who had served her this vay, Mrs. Roney heard nothink for a long year and a day. Till last Thursday, in Lambeth, ven whom should she see But this Mary, as had acted so ungrateful to she? She was leaning on the helbo of a worthy young man, They were going to be married, and were walkin hand in hand; And the Church bells was a ringing for Mary and he, And the parson was ready, and a waitin for his fee. When up comes Mrs. Roney, and faces Mary Brown, Who trembles, and castes her eyes upon the ground. She calls a jolly pleaseman, it happens to be me; I charge this yonng woman, Mr. Pleaseman, says she. "Mrs. Roney, O, Mrs. Roney, O, do let me go, I acted most ungrateful I own, and I know, But the marriage bell is a ringin, and the ring you may see, And this young man is a waitin," says Mary says she. "I don't care three fardens for the parson and clark, And the bell may keep ringin from noon day to dark. Mary Brown, Mary Brown, you must come along with me; And I think this young man is lucky to be free." So, in spite of the tears which bejew'd Mary's cheek, I took that young gurl to A'Beckett the Beak; That exlent Justice demanded her plea— But never a sullable said Mary said she. On account of her conduck so base and so vile, That wicked young gurl is committed for trile, And if she's transpawted beyond the salt sea, It's a proper reward for such willians as she. Now you young gurls of Southwark for Mary who veep, From pickin and stealin your ands you must keep, Or it may be my dooty, as it was Thursday veek, To pull you all hup to A'Beckett the Beak.
This poem is in the public domain.
About this Poem
From Ballads and Songs (London: Cassell and Company, 1896).
William Makepeace Thackeray
William Makepeace Thackeray, born July 18, 1811, was an English writer best known for his novels, particularly The History of Henry Esmond, Esq. (The Mershon Company Publishers, 1852) and Vanity Fair (Bradbury and Evans, 1848). While in school, Thackeray began writing poems, which he published in a number of magazines, chiefly Fraser and Punch. He died on December 24, 1863.
Date Published: 2018-07-12
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/wolfe-new-ballad-jane-roney-and-mary-brown