A cut purse and crook? The Devil mistook?

I am but an innocent young girl.

My name is Belinda and it be much good to meet ya,

but I must make haste in a whirl.

My blue eyes and curls, with blonde ravishing twirls;

I am a pretty picture to behold.

The gents and the ladies, do not watch for babies,

to lighten their load and their gold.

With small knife in hand, you cut here, there and..

the purse drops neatly to clasp.

Make your grab quick and move with the pick,

lest you end up in the law’s long grasp.

O look over to there! Finally, caught you unaware;

for there is a game of chance.

Now lightly you walk, to the player you talk,

if fancy Lady Luck give you glance.

Roll up! Roll up! Dare you tempt your sweet luck,

for I play a game of success.

If you should beat me, then I shall treat thee,

and the loss shall leave much distress.

But if I should win, then you shall buy us both gin!

And to Luck we shall toast the night through.

So dare you brave stranger, take on my sweet wager?

And chance your luck with me a-new?

Try again O dear friend; my luck will surely end!

And then you will be up on the deal.

O grievous calamity, such baseless banality,

I have won once again, what a steal!

Pardon me guv, I have ladies you’ll love,

Follow me and my friend down this alley way,

Don’t worry guv, me and Harry don’t mug,

Hey don’t walk away from us, stay!

Spare change Mister? Help a poor Sister,

eat for another day,

Come you skinflint, what does it mean: ‘take the hint’?

You’ve no money left to pay?

Let him through lads, this one is dry cads,

another happy customer of the Street of Light Fingers.

Here’s a new mark, with lopsided walk,

pocketfuls of gold lightened by sonorous street singers.

From The Rogues’ Gallery



© DJA 2016 All rights reserved.
Cover: The Musicians’ Brawl by Georges de La Tour