In Bodmin Town there lived a maid,
My innocent heart she had betrayed,
I ne'er was wounded so before,
And yet I love her more and more.
In Bodmin street when I did pass
I saw my fair maid through the glass,
All dress'd in ribbons bright and gay,
She lovelier looked than flowers in May.
In Bodmin church if I might stand
And hold my fair maid by the hand,
I reckon none in all the West
Would count himself so passing bless'd.
To Bodmin town I came at night,
And to her door betook me straight,
Come down! come down! and let me in,
Your own true love pulls at the pin.
On Bodmin moor the wild winds roar,
Her mother came, unhasped the door.
Alack! she's dead - this very hour
All withered lies your lily flower.
The Bodmin bells shall toll and tell,
With their melodious fall and swell,
"Here lies a lover and his bride,
Who parted lived, together died."
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Source: Baring-Gould, A Garland of Country Song, London 1895, (reprinted LLanerch)
This song was taken down from an old man of Cornish origin living in Devon. No second version has yet been recovered in Cornwall itself, though several old singers profess to have heard it when they were young. The melody has been seriously affected in its termination by Wesleyan hymnody, as is the case with a vast number of airs collected in Cornwall.
Also in Folk Songs of the West Country, collected by Sabine Baring-Gould (David & Charles, 1974, pp. 62-63), as "In Bodmin Town" (Taken down from William Nicholls aged 68, in 1891), with two additional stanzas which the editor Gordon Hitchcock supplies.
5. To Bodmin Town I came by day,
To see my true love on her way,
But ne'er did I her vision gain,
I came and went each day in vain.
8. In Bodmin Town the bells did ring,
For we were married in the Spring,
I ne'er was happy so before,
And still I love her more and more.
Roud: 1705 (Search Roud index at VWML)