Come, gentlemen and ladies, and listen unto me,
About a sad transaction which I will sing to thee;
'Tis of a brave young lawyer that lived in Kentucky state,
And a true lover upon whom he patiently did wait.
She said that she would marry him if he would avenge her heart
Of an injury that had been done her by one named Colonel Sharp;
She said that he had wronged her and brought her spirit low.
And without satisfaction no pleasure could she know.
He said, my loving sweetheart, that's pleasing talk to me,
To kill a man that's injured you I truly do feel free,
For I never could expect you to become my wife,
Unless I would protect you and surely take his life.
He made his preparations and unto Frankfort went,
To kill this valiant colonel it was his full intent;
He took him out to one side and gave to him a knife,
But Sharp said I can't fight you if this lady be your wife.
He made a great endeavor to see him the next day,
And hunted over Frankfort, but Sharp had gone away;
He then returned unto his love and told her what he had done,
And they together both agreed to let him longer run.
Within a few months after this couple they were wed,.
And then came thoughts of the colonel more strongly in their head;
He said, I'll kill him secretly, then to my love I'll return,
When we'll betake ourselves from here, in some other land sojourn.
She made a mask of black silk and put it on his head,
That he might seem a negro as to the deed he sped;
He moved along quite cautiously to get to Colonel Sharp,
Then called him from his bedchamber and stabbed him to the heart.
The lawyer made good his escape unto his loving wife,
And told her how successfully he'd taken the colonel's life;
"As no one saw me do it and I made such haste to run,
They cannot prove against me the deed that I have done."
She said, "My loving husband, you did just as you please,
You've relieved me from much trouble and set my heart at ease,
It is great satisfaction for what the colonel done,
And now we shall be happier, my best love you have won."
But justice followed on his track, they took him back again,
Which turned the lady's happiness and pleasure into pain;
He was tried by judge and jury, and guilty he was found,
Then taken to the prison house and in it he was bound.
Oh, my dear old father, do not troubled be,
And you, my tender mother, give way to grief for me,
For the laws of old Kentucky say that I must surely die,
And leave my friends and kindred to meet my destiny.
And you, my own, my dearest wife, come stay awhile with me,
For soon I shall be called away into eternity;
May heaven kindly bless you while here on earth you stay,
And all my friends protect you and help you on your way.
She cried, "My dear, good husband, how can it ever be?
And this our greatest trouble was caused by me;
I always will be with you while on this earth you stay,
And when the horrid deed is done, lie with you in the clay."
She had prepared a trusty knife, and made it very sharp.
And while they thus together talked she stabbed it to her heart,
Then gave it to her husband to follow the same course,
But as he made a second thrust she warded off its force.
The hour was drawing on apace, the execution near,
While in his arms close folded he held the wife so dear,
Bewailing the sad fortune which had become her part.
While steadily the life blood was flowing from her heart.
At last the appointed hour arrived-he from the gallows swung,
And all around his friends deplored the crime that he had done;
Had been the cause of misery to all in him concerned,
To prove his tenderness to her for whom his bosom yearned.