‘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