‘Begone you filthy urchins, away from my pocket;

I have no coin for you today, but here’s a tip -don’t mock it,

Get a job you dirty beggars, go labour on a farm,

Leave upstanding folk like me alone, instead of living by the palm.’


‘O my flock of small lost sheep! God’s Children one and all;

I have no coin for you today, for the Pastor drank it up the wall,

He’s soused and drowsed and lower than a louse,

the Devil’s sleeping it off in the Holy God’s house!’


‘Come back! Come back! You little brigands!

Just wait ’til you’re in my hands;

I’ll beat you black and blue little beggars, I’ll beat you black as night,

You’ll never steal from another honest shop-keep, not following this fright!’


We starve by day, so hunt as a pack,

To get some money or scrounge a snack,

What else is there for us to do?

But steal from the rich, individuals of low virtue.




From The Rogues’ Gallery



© DJA 2016
Cover: Beggar Boys Eating Grapes and Melon by Bartolome Esteban Murillo