The Butcher Boy

In London town where I did dwell,
A butcher boy I loved him well.
He courted me for many a day;
He stole from me my heart away.

There is an inn in that same town,
And there my love he sits him down;
He takes a strange girl on his knee
And tells her what he wouldn't tell me.

The reason is, I'll tell you why,
Because she's got more gold than I.
But gold will melt and silver fly,
And in time of need be as poor as I.

I'll go upstairs and make my bed.
“There is nothing to do,” my mother said.
My mother she has followed me,
Saying, “What is the matter, my daughter dear?”

“O mother dear, you little know
What pains or sorrow or what woe!
Go get a chair and sit me down,
With pen and ink I'll write all down.”

She wrote a letter, she wrote a song,
She wrote a letter, she wrote it long;
On every line she dropped a tear,
At every verse cried, “Willy dear!”

Her father he came home that night
Enquiring for his heart's delight;
He went upstairs, the door he broke,
He found her hanging on a rope.

He took a knife and cut her down,
And in her bosom these lines he found:
“O what a foolish girl was I
To hang myself for a butcher's boy.

“Go dig my grave both wide and deep,
Put a marble stone at my head and feet,
And on my grave place a turtle dove
To show the world that I died for love.”
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