The Beggar's Opera

Air I
1.1  Through all the employments of life
1.2    Each neighbour abuses his brother;
1.3Whore and rogue they call husband and wife:
1.4    All professions be-rogue one another.
1.5The priest calls the lawyer a cheat,
1.6    The lawyer be-knaves the divine;
1.7And the statesman, because he's so great,
1.8    Thinks his trade as honest as mine.
A Soldier and a Sailor
2.1  A fox may steal your hens, sir,
2.2A whore your health and pence, sir,
2.3Your daughter rob your chest, sir,
2.4Your wife may steal your rest, sir,
2.5    A thief your goods and plate.
2.6  But this is all but picking,
2.7With rest, pence, chest and chicken;
2.8It ever was decreed, sir,
2.9If lawyer's hand is fee'd, sir,
2.10    He steals your whole estate.
3.1  Youth's the season made for joys,
3.2    Love is then our duty,
3.3She alone who that employs,
3.4    Well deserves her beauty.
3.5      Let's be gay,
3.6      While we may,
3.7      Beauty's a flower, despised in decay.
4.8  Youth's the season, &c.
5.9Let us drink and sport to-day,
5.10    Ours is not to-morrow.
5.11Love with youth flies swift away,
5.12    Age is nought but sorrow.
5.13      Dance and sing,
5.14      Time's on the wing,
5.15Life never knows the return of spring.
6.16   Let us drink, &c.
7.1Courtiers, Courtiers think it no harm, &c.
7.2  Man may escape from rope and gun;
7.3Nay, some have out-liv'd the doctor's pill;
7.4Who takes a woman must be undone,
7.5    That basilisk is sure to kill.
7.6The fly that sips treacle is lost in the sweets,
7.7So he that tastes woman, woman, woman,
7.8    He that tastes woman, ruin meets.
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
2RP 1.560-61.