The Cholera Morbus

Oh but the times are dull and dreary,
Every thing goes topsey teary,
A-travelling night and day I'm weary
Through the streets of Edinburgh.

Sometimes I stop and take a view
Of what folk say, and what they do,
I always find out something new
In this great town of Edinburgh.

The big folk they joined in a league
They'd not allow Sawney nor Teague
To rear a swine for fear a plague
They would bring into Edinburgh.

But now the swine are done away,
And on the poor the blame they lay,
They're sending of them every day,
From this great town of Edinburgh.

The rich do pray, with eyes upcast,
The poor do hold a general fast,
I hope they've stopt the plagues at last
From coming into Edinburgh.

Now the Cholera is the cry,
We'll not get leave to sell or buy,
Poor dealers may with hunger die,
In this great town of Edinburgh.

They've put a stop to all Pawnbrokers,
Bone-Gatherers and Midden-Rakers,
Sellers of Salt and Candy Hawkers,
In this great town of Edinburgh.

Chaunters they now all dormant lie,
Speech-criers won't get leave to cry,
For if they do they'll walk up by,
To that big house in Edinburgh.

No fish but oysters they dare sell,
The big folk cannot want them well,
The laws are strict, so don't rebel,
In this great town of Edinburgh.

The lame, the lazy and the blind,
And ragged folk they cannot find,
A begging through a street or wynd,
Are taken up in Edinburgh.

Ye lasses, put on your mourning dresses,
Weep and wail at our distresses,
You'll not meet with such fond caresses
This some time in Edinburgh.

Its for Reform you did shout,
A queer way it has come about,
I wish it ta'en some other rout,
And never entered Edinburgh.

Before that I do end my ditty,
Ye great folk that do rule this city
On the poor pray do take pity,
In this great town of Edinburgh.

Hunger will shortly end our days,
It will kill more than that disease,
Of which they did such rumours raise,
In this great town of Edinburgh.

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Copyright © 2001, Jack Campin