The Broken Token
A fair little miss aall in the garden,
And a brave young soldier came a-passing by;
And up he stepped and thus he addressed her,
Says "My pretty little miss, won't you marry me?"
She says: "No, kind sir, a man of honour,
A man of honour you may be,
But how can you impose on a fair lady
Who never intends your bride to be?"
"I 've got a true love been gone to the ocean,
He's been there for seven years long
And if he stays seven years longer,
No man on earth will marry me."
"Perhaps he's in the sea-side drownded,
Or perhaps he's in some battle slain,
Or perhaps he's took some other girl and married
His face you'll never see again."
"If he's drownded I'm in hopes he's happy,
Or if he's in some battle slain,
Or perhaps he's took some other and married,
I'll love that girl that would have married him."
He run his hands all in his pocket
His fingers being long and slim,
Says: "Here's a ring that you did give me
Before I started to the sea."
She wrung her lily-white hands and cried,
And straight before him she did fall,
Says: "You are the man that used to court me
Before you started to the sea."
note: I like the utter selflessness of the young lady; I also
like the thought of a happy drowning. RG
From English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians, Sharp
Collected from Mary Sands, NC, 1916