The Queenstown Mourner
My friends and relations, I pray lend an ear,
And all my misfortunes you shortly shall hear;
Although I'm a mourner, I'Il sing you a song
Of my dear companion who's now dead and gone.
In the township of Danville I courted my love,
I told her the truth that not wealthy I was;
If she asked for riches, to turn me away,
And not to encourage my suit for a day.
From her friends and relations I said she must go,
I did not deceive her. I plainly will show.
I said I should move her to some foreign land,
To be my companion, my wife and my friend.
She paused a few momencs, then made this reply;
"I ask not for riches, they take wings and fly;
To marry for riches I do not uphold,
I wish for contentment, more precious than gold."
She accepted my offer and shortly became
The bride of a poor man, the wife of the same;
Her father and mother, they gave their consent,
Appeared to be willing, and likewise content.
In the month of October, she gave me her hand,
Before the old elder, we boldly did stand,
And like to an angel she stood by my side,
And promised to take me for her friend and guide.
I moved her to Barnet the very next day,
Awhile with my father and mother to stay;
T'was a fatal remove I can never repair
To cost me the life of this sweet damsel fair.
We now moved to Queenstown to make our abode,
By the torrent Niagara, near the main road,
We planted our fruit trees and sat in their shade
Beside a sublimely terrific cascade.
No mortals on earth more contented could be,
A couple was never more happy than we;
No enchanting magician could give more delight
Than the voice of my true love both morning and night
But alas! cruel fortune and more cruel death,
Why didst thou intrude?-but perhaps for the best.
The knot that was solemn thou quick did untie,
But it was so ordered by Him from on high.
In the sad month of April the seventeenth day,
The summons came forward and she must obey;
At the dark hour of midnight a voice we did hear,
Which caused some to wonder and others to fear.
A voice loud and solemn was heard on the door,
One rap we all heard and not any more;
We knew not the reason of this early call,
But soon the sad tidings were known to us all.
At eight the next morning her pure spirit fled,
And left her poor body inactive and dead.
Her soul has ascended, we hope, to its home,
Where trouble and sorrow and grief never come.
Now my dear companion has left me to mourn,
With two little infants--she'll never return.
She lived in contentment and died in great pain,
But it was so ordered, I must not complain.
I ought not to murmur, but must be content,
For the Lord has a right to whatever he's lent.
Our fondest relations are lent but a day,
And very soon from us they'll be taken away.
Come all you young people who partners have got,
If you are healthy or wealthy or whatever is your lot
Unite your affections, and be of one mind,
And to your companions be loving and kind.
For soon they must leave you or shortly must part,
They are not your own, though dear to your heart;
For God in his mercy sits high on his throne,
He'll take them all from you and take but his own.
Ye proud and ye haughty, ye shortly must fall,
Your riches won't save you when God gives the call;
Your gold and your silver will canker and rust,
Your bodies will moulder and turn into dust.
The living may wander to some foreign land,
To leave their dead bodies to sleep in the sand,
The rich may all flourish and live for a time,
The dead are forgotten by those left behind.
Though sad disappointment has fixed my lot,
I'll bear them with patience and I'll murmur not;
Since my dear companion has gone to her rest,
I'll never forget her, but hope for the best.
From Vermont Folksongs and Ballads, Flanders
author's note: Mr. Phillips Barry contributes the full text of
The Queenstown Mourner as copied, 1906, from a broadside of early