Smuggling Song/ Poem

SMUGGLERS’ SONG

 

If you wake at midnight and hear a horse’s feet,

Don’t go drawing back the blind or looking in the street,

Them that asks no questions isn’t told no lies.

Watch the wall my darling, while the Gentlemen go by!

 

Five and twenty ponies

Trotting through the dark –

Brandy for the Parson,

Tobacco for the Clerk;

Laces for a lady; letters for a spy,

 

And watch the wall my darling, while the Gentlemen go by!

 

Running round the woodpile if you chance to find

Little barrels, roped and tarred, all full of brandy wine;

Don’t you shout to come and look, nor take em for your play;

Put the brushwood back again, - and they’ll be gone next day!

 

If you see the stable door setting open wide;

If you see a tired horse lying down inside;

If your mother mends a coat cut about and torn;

If the lining’s wet and warm – don’t you ask no more!

 

If you meet King George’s men, dressed in blue and red,

You be mindful what you say, and mindful what is said.

If they call you “pretty maid” and chuck you ‘neath the chin,

Don’t you tell where no one is, nor yet where no one’s been!

 

Knocks and footsteps round the house – whistles after dark –

You’ve no call for running out till the house dogs bark.

Trusty’s here and Pincher’s here, and see how dumb they lie –

They don’t fret to follow when the Gentlemen go by!

 

If you do as you’ve been told, likely there’s a chance,

You’ll be given a dainty doll, all the way from France,

With a cap of Valenciennes lace and a velvet hood –

A present from the Gentlemen, for being very good!

 

Five and twenty ponies

Trotting through the dark –

Brandy for the Parson,

‘Baccy for the Clerk.

 

Them that asks no questions isn’t told no lies –

Watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by!

 

Rudyard Kipling