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It's of a farmer all in this town,
His name was up through the country round;
He had a daughter, a beauty bright,
And she alone was his heart's delight.

Many a noble lord came this dame to see,
But still she could fancy none of these;
But of late came one of low degree,
He came of late, so she fancied he.

When her father came of this to hear,
He separated her from her dear;
Three score miles he did her send
To her uncle's house, to her discontent.

One night as she was for her bed bound,
She heard a noise and a {dismal/deadly} sound;
Saying "Mary dear, rise from your bed
[I've come, at last, so we can wed."]

"Here is a token, my heart's delight
Your father's steed to ride home this night;
Another token I've brought to you,
Your mother's cloak, and her silk coat too."

They rode more quickly than the wind,
But still he minded his love behind.
He heaved a sigh, and thus did say,
"O my dearest dear, how my head does ache."

Until they came to her father's gate,
And there few words to his love did say,
"Alight, my love, and go to your bed,
Your father's steed I'll see combed and fed."

A white holland handkerchief she drew
And bound it round his head, and tightly too
She went up to her father's hall
Loudly for her father she did call.

"O father dear, did you send for me,
By my loved Jimmy, kind sir?" said she;
It's well he knew this young man was dead,
Which made every hair stand up on his head.

This young man's darling cried more and more,
The young man was dead just nine months and more;
The grave was opened, where he was laid,
With his love's holland handkerchief bound round his head.

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Source: M Dawney, The Ploughboy's Glory, EFDSS, 1977

Collected by Frances Jekyll and George Butterworth from Mr Smith, Stoke Lacey, Hereford, Sept, 1907.

Roud: 246 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six
Child: 272

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