THE BEGGAR TO MAB, THE FAIRY QUEEN.
by Robert Herrick
PLEASE your Grace, from out your store,
Give an alms to one that's poor,
That your mickle may have more.
Black I'm grown for want of meat ;
Give me then an ant to eat,
Or the cleft ear of a mouse
Over-sour'd in drink of souce ;
Or, sweet lady, reach to me
The abdomen of a bee ;
Or commend a cricket's hip,
Or his huckson, to my scrip.
Give for bread a little bit
Of a pea that 'gins to chit,
And my full thanks take for it.
Flour of fuzz-balls, that's too good
For a man in needy-hood ;
But the meal of milldust can
Well content a craving man.
Any orts the elves refuse
Well will serve the beggar's use.
But if this may seem too much
For an alms, then give me such
Little bits that nestle there
In the prisoner's panier.
So a blessing light upon
You and mighty Oberon :
That your plenty last till when
I return your alms again.
Orts, scraps of food.
Prisoner's panier, the basket which poor prisoners used
to hang out of the gaol windows for alms in money or
Herrick, Robert. Works of Robert Herrick. vol II.
Alfred Pollard, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1891. 25-26.
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