“Permit me relate, ‘though you may berate,

My story to you dear friend.

No tale of woe, I would have you know,

Pray heed me to the end.

 

Come share some ale, and hear my tale,

And sit with me a while.

The hour is light, ‘tis not yet night,

Perchance you’ll weep – or smile.

 

From the cut of your coat, and sound of your throat,

You are very much as I.

So if that be true, let’s share this brew,

Come! Allow me to buy.”

 

To me he looked, like a veritable crook,

But his words did all sound true.

His clothes unkempt, but his words did tempt,

So I considered him there anew.

 

“Your silence betrays: your eyes ablaze,

You wish to hear my yarn.

It is an ode, for the young and old.

Come sit with me! What harm?”

 

His words were bold, he paid with gold,

‘Tis true I had some time.

As thoughts occurred, invitation stirred,

He seemed to me benign.

 

“Come, Sir!” said he. “Come sit by me.

I wager you’ll not regret it.

I see you are wise, by the look in your eyes,

Come, sit! And you shall profit!”

 

So I sat a while and in pleasant style,

We shared a hearty draught.

Before he’d say, he answered me, “Pray,

Tell me first your craft.”

 

As we passed some time, the Church bell chimed,

He said he must away.

But the tale not told, of silver and gold,

He would tell another day.

 

But I asked him state and to me relate,

The story he had assured.

My interest ablaze, I asked him stay,

My wonder he must cure.

 

As up he rose, from among his clothes,

I saw a chain of gold.

I asked him why, he had lied,

And his story still untold.

 

“Come! Come,” said he, with a look of glee.

“Come dine with me tonight.

I eat at eight; pray be not late,

We’ll sup by candle-light.”

 

So I watched him go, ‘though I did not know,

The place where he did live.

I made to enquire, information acquire,

But none to me would give.

 

I drank some ale, and bemoaned the tale,

Which I had thought to hear.

And hearing none, the stranger gone,

I too must disappear.

 

So I left the inn, where he had been,

I thought of him no more.

My business done, I soon was gone,

The way I came before.