The Lonely Troll he sat on a stone
and sang a mournful lay:
‘O why, O why must I live on my own
in the hills of Faraway?
My folk are gone beyond recall
and take no thought of me;
alone I’m left, the last of all
from Weathertop to the Sea.’
‘I steal no gold, I drink no beer,
I eat no kind of meat;
but People slam their doors in fear,
whenever they hear my feet.
O how I wish that they were neat,
and my hands were not so rough!
Yet my heart is soft, my smile is sweet,
and my cooking good enough.’
‘Come, come!’ he thought, ‘this will not do!
I must go and find a friend;
a-walking soft I’ll wander through
the Shire from end to end.’
Down he went, and he walked all night
with his feet in boots of fur;
to Delving he came in the morning light,
when folk were just astir.
He looked around, and who did he meet
but old Mrs Bunce and all
with umbrella and basket walking the street;
and he smiled and stopped to call:
‘Good morning, ma’am! Good day to you!
I hope I find you well?’
But she dropped umbrella and basket too,
and yelled a frightful yell.
Old Pott the Mayor was strolling near;
when he heard that awful sound,
he turned all purple and pink with fear,
and dived down underground.
The Lonely Troll was hurt and sad:
‘Don’t go!’ he gently said,
but old Mrs Bunce ran home like mad
and hid beneath her bed.
The Troll went on to the market-place
and peeped above the stalls;
the sheep went wild when they saw his face,
and the geese flew over the walls.
Old Farmer Hogg he spilled his ale,
Bill Butcher threw a knife,
and Grip his dog, he turned his tail
and ran to save his life.
The old Troll sadly sat and wept
outside the Lockholes gate,
and Perry-the-Winkle up he crept
and patted him on the pate.
‘O why do you weep, you great big lump?
You’re better outside than in!’
He gave the Troll a friendly thump,
and laughed to see him grin.
‘O Perry-the-Winkle boy,’ he cried,
‘come, you’re the lad for me!
Now if you’re willing to take a ride,
I’ll carry you home to tea.’
He jumped on his back and held on tight,
and ‘Off you go!’ said he;
and the Winkle had a feast that night,
and sat on the old Troll’s knee.
There were pikelets, there was buttered toast,
and jam, and cream, and cake,
and the Winkle strove to eat the most,
though his buttons all should break.
The kettle sang, the fire was hot,
the pot was large and brown,
and the Winkle tried to drink the lot,
in tea though he should drown.
When full and tight were coat and skin,
they rested without speech,
till the old Troll said: ‘I’ll now begin
the baker’s art to teach,
the making of beautiful cramsome bread,
of bannocks light and brown;
and then you can sleep on a heather-bed
with pillows of owlet’s down.’
‘Young Winkle, where’ve you been?’ they said.
‘I’ve been to a fulsome tea,
and I feel so fat, for I have fed
on cramsome bread,’ said he.
‘But where, my lad, in the Shire was that?
Or out in Bree?’ said they.
But Winkle he up and answered flat:
‘I aint a-going to say’.
‘But I know where,’ said Peeping Jack,
‘I watched him ride away:
he went upon the old Troll’s back
to the hills of Faraway.’
Then all the People went with a will,
by pony, cart, or moke,
until they came to a house in a hill
and saw a chimney smoke.
They hammered upon the old Troll’s door.
‘A beautiful cramsome cake
O bake for us, please, or two, or more;
O bake!’ they cried, ‘O bake!’
‘Go home, go home!’ the old Troll said.
‘I never invited you.
Only on Thursdays I bake my bread,
and only for a few’.
‘Go home! Go home! There’s some mistake.
My house is far too small;
and I’ve no pikelets, cream, or cake:
the Winkle has eaten all!
You Jack, and Hogg, old Bunce and Pott
I wish no more to see.
Be off! Be off now all the lot!
The Winkle’s the boy for me!’
Now Perry-the-Winkle grew so fat
through eating of cramsome bread,
his weskit bust, and never a hat
would sit upon his head;
for Every Thursday he went to tea,
and sat on the kitchen floor,
and smaller the old Troll seemed to be,
as he grew more and more.
The Winkle a Baker great became,
as still is said in song;
from the Sea to Bree there went the fame
of his bread both short and long.
But it weren’t so good as the cramsome bread;
no butter so rich and free,
as Every Thursday the old Troll spread
for Perry-the-Winkle’s tea.