Young friends, I pray you all draw near,
And a story you shall hear
Of a young damsel of some fame,
And Nancy Downy was her name.
In her sixteenth year she sought the Lord,
And daily read His holy word,
Each day and hour she sought to gain
His favor and did soon obtain.
To the church she then did go
And told them what she wished to do,
That the Lord had set her free,
And baptized she wished to be.
She went to see some friends one day,
And met a negro on the way,
Who with a knife and murderous art
Pierced poor Nancy near the heart.
The wretch, with this act not content,
Dragged her to the river's brink,
And as her body floated down,
All nature seemed for her to mourn.
She struggled hard and reached the land
Unaided, without helping hand,
And there upon the earth sat down,
The blood still streaming from her wound.
Her brother chanced to pass that way,
And when the horrid sight he saw,
He cried, oh, Lord, my sister's gone.
Where is the wretch this deed hath done?
With haste he bore her to her home,
Where friends and neighbors quickly come,
While aching hearts and throbbing brow
Attested how all felt the blow.
Poor Nancy lingered till next day,
And to the mourners she did say:
My dearest friends, weep not for me,
For I shall soon my Jesus see.
Though my poor body shall sink down
And molder in the silent tomb,
My happy soul will mount above
To shout and sing redeeming love.