The Scold’s Bridle and the Poison (A Saga for the Old Lenton Martinmas Fair)

On Saturday 22nd October 2016 at the Old Lenton Martinmas Fair wordsmith Dave Wood, with the help of visitors, wrote the Martinmas saga.

a little cold autumn day
we gather around on this mediaeval day

you can try our chain mail coat
but don’t go swimming – you won’t float

to stop your tongue a flapping
your husband will be laughing

a gobby woman that keeps chatting
cackling – scolding – whining – spitting

should be led through the town in the scold’s bridle
to stop her becoming idle

her tongue gets chopped off
and people throw apples at her from the pigs’ trough

‘you could throw something better than grubby foreign apples
they fairly make me crapple’

the poor woman’s name is hillary
she gets taken to the pillory

stop her taking selfies
make fun of her at the pillory

someone calls her strumpet
hits her with a crumpet

which she used to grease here wrists
with aim to get released

she pulls her hand about
it suddenly popped out

she put her hand in her mouth and gave a big whistle
and when she had their attention – she gave this epistle

i want to go home please and i promise i’ll be good
children are waiting and crying for food

well – there’s a tavern round the corner – go and eat  – get some scran
look over there – there’s a strange looking man

i’ll give you some coins for your bairns he said
if you promise to warm me in bed

she fluttered her eyelids and gave him a wink
so he let her out – she ran off in blink

fair maiden – whence do you go?
i’ll follow you high and low

she gets back to the village with revenge on her mind
she can’t deal with her husband on her own – because he’s of the large kind

so help is required to put him in her place
so he needs to be lured by a wench fair of face

so she goes to the tavern disguised as a man
to find the fairest maiden that she can

she does not find what she seeks
as a fair maiden turns out to be a mate that she meets

as two kindred spirits meet at such times
the lady thinks – can maiden be mine?

she approaches the woman (pretends to be a man)
she sweet talks to her and she realises she can

it was lucky she knew sign language
enough to buy her a sandwich

the husband’s in the pub
eating and drinking his grub

there was so much noise on
that he didn’t spot them slipping the poison

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