Love Has Brought Me to Despair
In Oxford Town in Halifax fair
As I walked out to take the air,
I viewed the hills and the valleys 'round,
And at length I heard a doleful sound.
"My father he is a wealthy man;
My mother she is a lady fair,
And I their child, the only heir;
False lover has brought me to despair."
Then through yonder meadow at will she goes,
A-picking the flowers just as they grow,
First a pink and then a blue
Until she has gathered the meadow through.
Then out of the flowers she made her a bed,
A flowery pillow to ease her head.
Then she lay down, and then she Spoke:
Saying, "O false lover, my heart is broke.
"Go dig my grave both wide and deep;
Put a marble stone at my head and feet,
And on my breast put a turtle-dove
That the world may know I died for love."
When Mary's true love this news came to be told,
That her fair body was dead and cold,
"I'm glad," said he, "she has done so well;
I long to hear the tolling bell.
"When Mary in Abraham's bosom shall sleep,'
So softly, softly she will sleep;
When Mary in Abraham's bosom shall sleep,
My poor soul in hell it will weep."
"False Lover." Contributed by Mrs. A. J. Hopkins,
of Boonville, Indiana. Warrick County. May 22, 1935.
This is an abbreviated and considerably changed version
of the English "A Brisk Young Sailor." It shows some
points of resemblance also to "Sheffield Park,"
to the seventeenth century broadside "An Excellent New
Song, call'd Nelly's Constancy; or, Her Unkind Lover"
(Pepys, V 217; Ebsworth, Roxburghe Ballads, VI, 791),
and to seventeenth century broadside, "The Forlorn Lover."