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178 Ballads and Songs of Michigan
65 A MAID IN BEDLAM
For a slighdy longer text; "taken from an old garland in the British Museum," similar to the Michigan version see JFSS, II, 93-94. For a text said to have been written by George Syron, a Negro, see Johnson's Museum (1787), pp. 46-47. For a short and somewhat similar text see Baring-Gould and Sheppard, pp. 196-197. The present version is from the Gernsey manuscript.
1 One morning very early, one morning in the spring, I heard a maid in Bedlam most wonderful did sing;
Her chains she rattled on her hands while sweetly thus she
sung, "I love my love because I know my love he loves me.
2 "O cruel were his parents that sent my love to sea, And cruel, cruel was the ship that bore my love from me. Yet I love his parents since they're his although they've
ruined me. I love my love because I know my love he loves me.
3 "O should it please the pitying powers to call me to the
skies, I'd claim a guardian angel's charge around my love to fly. To guard him from all danger, how happy would I be; I love my love because I know my love he loves me.
4 "I'll make a strawy garland; I'll make it wondrous fine With roses, lilies, daisies I'll move the eglantine.
I'll present it to my true love when he returns from sea. I love my love because I know my love he loves me.
5 "O if I were a sparrow, I'd sit upon his breast; Or if I were a nightingale, I'd sing my love to rest
And gaze upon his lovely eyes all my reward should be. I love my love because I know my love he loves me.
6 "O if I were an eagle to soar into the sky,
I'd gaze around with piercing eyes where I my love might spy,