The Lady and the Farmer's Son
Young lovers all, I pray draw near
And a relation you shall hear
Of how a lady was undone
By loving of a farmer's son.
His age,it was just twenty-two
As I the truth do tell to you.
He was well formed in every limb.
This lady fell in love with him.
She wrote him letters every day,
But he to her would nothing say
Because he knew he was going to wed
Sally, her handsome chamber-maid.
As she was walking in the grove,
By chance she met with her own true love,
Saying, "Kind sir, upon my life
I do intend to be your wife."
"O lady fair, that cannot be
For you to be a wife to me,
Because you know I am engaged
To Sally, your handsome chamber-maid."
She wrung her hands and tore her hair,
And cried, "Alas I'm in despair.
How can you slight me so?" she said,
"All for a silly chambermaid ?"
"If only I was from her free
Then I could love you tenderly,
But I am bound to her by oath,
You know I cannot wed you both."
The lady thought, "If that be so,
I soon will prove her overthrow,
For she my waiting maid shall be
And we will cross the raging sea."
This lady had contrived it so
All for to work her overthrow
As this poor maiden lay asleep
She plunged her body in the deep.
Now this fair lady on return
Found conscience like vexatious burn
For never could she be at rest
Until the deed she had confessed.
'Tis now she lies confined in jail.
The Lord have mercy on her soul.
Distracted did this young man run,
In Bedlam lies the farmer's son.
'Twas by the help of curs-ed gold,
This pretty maiden's life was sold.
'Tis now a lass and you may see
Has proved the ruin of all three.
From Ballads Migrant in New England, Flanders
Collected from Elmer George, VT 1933