Young Charlotte (Frozen Girl)
Young Charlotte lived by the mountainside in a cold and dreary spot
No other dwelling for miles around, except her father's cot
And yet, on many a winter's eve, young swains would gather there
For her father kept a social board and she was very fair
Her father loved to see her dressed prim as a city belle
She was the only child he had and he loved his daughter well
In a village some fifteen miles off there's a merry ball tonight
Though the driving wind is cold as death their hearts were free and light
And yet how beams those sparkling eyes as the well-known sound she hears
And dashing up to her father's door, young Charles and his sleigh appears
"Oh, daughter dear," her mother says, "those blankets round you fold
For it is a dreadful night to ride and you'll catch your death of cold"
"Oh nay, oh nay," young Charlotte said, and she laughed like a gypsy queen
"To ride with blankets muffled up one never would be seen"
Her gloves and bonnet being on, she stepped into the sleigh
And away they rode by the mountain side and it's o'er the hills and away
There's music in those merry bells as o'er the hills we go
What a creaking noise those runners make as they strike the frozen snow
And muffled faces silent are as the first five miles are passed
When Charles with few and shivering words the silence broke at last
"What a dreadful night it is to ride. My lines I scarce can hold"
When she replied in a feeble voice, "I am extremely cold"
Charles cracked his whip and urged his team far faster than before
Until at length five other miles in silence were passed o'er
"Charlotte, how fast the freezing ice is gathering on my brow"
When she replied in a feeble voice, "I'm getting warmer now"
And away they ride by the mountain side beneath the cold starlight
Until at length the village inn and the ballroom are in sight
When they drove up, Charles he got out and offered her his hand
"Why sit you there like a monument that hath no power to stand?"
He asked her once, he asked her twice but she ans
He offered her his hand again, but still she never stirred
[And there he sat down by her side while bitter tears did flow
And cried," My own, my charming bride, 'tis you may never know."
He twined his arms around her neck, he kissed her marble brow,
His thoughts flew back to where she said,"I'm growing warmer now."]*
He took her hand into his own, twas cold as any stone
He tore the veil from off her face and the cold stars on her shone
And quick into the lighted hall her lifeless form he bore
Fair Charlotte was a frozen corpse and a word she ne'er spoke more
He took her back into the sleigh and quickly hurried home
And when he came to her father's door oh how her parents moaned
They mourned the loss of their daughter dear while Charles wept o'er their gloom
Until at length, Charles died of grief and they both lay in one tomb
sung by Margaret MacArthur
printed in Folk Songs Out of Wisconsin
may be based on an incident in February 1840
* additional verse and tune "YNGCHARL" from American Songbag, Sandburg RG