In Reading town it was reported
A fair young damsel there did dwell,
She by her servantman was courted
Who lov'd her most exceeding well.
She lov'd him well, but at a distance
She didn't seem so very fond;
He says, "My dear, you have me slighted
I think you love some other man,
Or else, my dear, why don't we marry,
And then together end all strife?
I'll work for you both late and early,
If you will be my loving wife, "
"My dear, we are too young to marry,
Too young to enjoy a marriage bed;
Besides, my dear, when once we're married
Then all our joy and pleasure's fled."
'Twas near at hand was a ball of dancing,
This fair damsel there did go;
But soon her true love follow'd after
All for to prove her overthrow,
He saw her dancing with some other,
Jealousy run in his mind;
For to destroy his own true lover,
He give her poison in a glass of wine,
She took it kind, but soon did alter,
"Take me home, my dear," said she,
"That glass of wine which you just give me,
Made me so ill as ill could be, "
As they were a-walking along together,
He unto his true love did say:
"That was a glass of poison which I give you,
And it soon will take your sweet life away,
And I just after took another,
Oh! what a silly fool was I! "
In each other's arms they died together;
So, all young men, don't jealous be.
From The Constant Lovers, Purslow