The Beggar-Laddie

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The Beggar-Laddie is a traditional English ballad existing in several variants. It was collected by Francis James Child as Child ballad 280.


A man tells a woman that he is a beggar, making his living from spindles or similar items. She loves him and follows him. After a time, she finds it very hard, but then he takes her on to his father's hall, or sometimes his brother's. His brothers express envy of his bride, and she gains a husband of high birth.

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