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The Song Book
' If on your death-bed you do lie,
What needs the tale you're tellin' ? I cannot keep you from your death; Farewell,' said Barbara Allen.
He turn'd his face unto the wall,
As deadly pangs he fell in : 'Adieu, adieu, unto you all, Adieu to Barbara Allen.'
As she was walking o'er the fields, She heard the bell a knellin' ;
And every stroke did seem to say, Unworthy Barbara Allen!
She turn'd her body round about,
And spied the corpse a coming ; 'Lay down, lay down, the corpse,' she said, ' That I may look upon him.'
With scornful eye she looked down, Her cheek with laughter swellin', While all her friends cried out amain, ' Unworthy Barbara Allen !'
When he was dead and laid in grave, Her heart was struck with sorrow, ' O mother, mother, make my bed, For I shall die to-morrow.
' Hard hearted creature him to slight,
Who loved me so dearly: O that I had been more kind to him, When he was live, and near me!'
She, on her death-bed as she lay,
Begg'd to be buried by him, And sore repented of the day
That she did e'er deny him.
' Farewell,' she said, 'ye virgins all,
And shun the fault I fell in ; Henceforth take warning by the fall Of cruel Barbara Allen.'
From Percy's Reliques. Tune Traditional.