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Willie and Mary

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Willie and Mary

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Willie and Mary

Willie and Mary strolled by the seaside,
A fond  farewell there to take,
"Should you never return, dear Willie," said she,
"I'm sure that my poor heart would break."
"Oh, do not despair, little Mary, " he said,
As he pressed his fair maid to his heart,
"In my absence don't mourn, for when I return,
We'll marry and never more part."

Three years passed away, when the news came at last,
As she stood by her own cottage door;
An old beggar came by with a patch on his eye,
Sad, ragged, forlorn, and poor.
"If your kind charity upon me you'll bestow,
It's your fortune I'll tell you beside;
The lad you mourn for, he will never return,
To make little Mary his bride. "

"Oh!" she started, surprised and excited exclaimed,
"All the money I have I'll give you,
If you'll tell me the truth, that is all I ask you,
If my Willie still is alive? "
"He is living, " said he, "but in dire poverty,
Shipwrecked, but still has his pride.
And he'll never return because he's too poor
To make little Mary his bride."

"Oh, the high heavens known the great joy that I feel;
And as for his misfortune I mourn.
If in riches I'm rolled or was covered with gold,
He should make little Mary his bride,
For I love him so dearly, so sincere and true,
That no other will I have in his place,
He'd be welcome to me in deep poverty,
For poverty is no disgrace."

Then the old beggar threw by the patch from his eye
His old coat and crutches beside,
And with cheeks of roses, and his jacket of blue
It was Willie stood by Mary's side.
"Oh, do not despair, precious Mary, " he said,
As he clasped the fair maid in his arms.
To the church they repaired, it was not far away,
Was enriched by the loyal maid's charms.

from Folk Songs out of Wisconsin, Peters
collected from Noble B. Brown, Millville, WI 1946
DT #457
Laws N28
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