I was brought up in Sheffield, not of a high degree,
My parents they doated on me, they had no more but me;
I rolled in such pleasure, just where my fancy led,
'Till I was bound apprentice, then all my joys were fled.
I did not like my master, he did not use me well,
I took a resolution not long with him to dwell;
Unknown to my poor parents, from him I ran away,
I steered my course to London-oh, cursed be the day!
A handsome young lady from Holland was there,
She offered me great wages to serve her a year;
Oh, then with great persuasions with her I did agree,
To go to live in Holland, which proved my destiny.
I had not been in Holland past years, two or three,
Before that my young mistress grew very fond of me;
She said her gold and silver, her houses and her land,
If I'd consent to marry her, should he at my command.
I said, dear honored lady, I cannot wed you both,
For I have lately promised and made a solemn oath,
To wed none but Polly, your pretty chambermaid,
Excuse me, my dear mistress, she has my heart betrayed.
Then in angry humor away from me did run,
Resolved to be revenged before it was long;
She being perplexed, she could not be my wife,
That she would seek a project to take away my life.
One day as we were walking, all in the garden gay,
The flowers they were springing so delightful and gay,
A gold ring from her finger, as I was passing by,
She slipped into my pocket, and for it I must die.
My mistress swore I robbed her, and quickly I was brought
Before a grave old justice, to answer for my fault;
Long time I pleaded innocent, but it was of no avail,
She swore so hard against me, that I was put to jail.
It's now the last assizes are drawing on a pace,
And presently the judge will on me sentence pass;
From the place of confinement they brought me to the tree,
So woe to my mistress, for she has ruined me.
All you that stand around me. my wretched fate to see,
Don't glory in my downfall, I pray, you pity me;
Believe I'm quite innocent, I bid the world adieu,
Farewell, my pretty Polly, I die for love of you.