Two Lovers Discoursing

1. As—I rode out one evening down by a river
side, I heard two lovers talking, and the fair one she replied:
“You're the most on-constant young man that ever I did
know. You promised for to marry me, why did you not do so?”

2 “If I promised for to marry you, I was goin' to break my vow.
But believe me, dearest Nancy [Mary?], I could not come till now.
If I had all the gold and silver that ever my eyes did see,
Oh, gladly would I spend it, love, in your sweet company.”

3 “Oh, begone, you false deceiver, you told me that before!
You went away the last time, never to return any more.
You went and you courted Nancy, that girl with the rolling eye.
She was your joy and fancy—how can you this deny?”

4 “Who told you these false stories, love, and told them to be true,
That I had been courting Nancy and quite forgotten you?
It was only to bring disturbments between you, love, and I.
I hate such foolish arguments—for you I could live and die.”

5 “Oh, begone, you false deceiver, you're the flower of all disdain!
You came both late and early my favors for to gain;
But now I disregard you, as all the world might see.
From you and all men breathing, thank God, this day I'm free.

6 “Do you see those little small birds that fly from tree to tree?
They're kinder to each other, by far, than you're to me.
But since you are for changing the old love for the new,
My days I'll spend in rambling those woods and valleys through.”

7 It was the last words Mary spoke that pierced young Willie's heart.
He fain would have gone and left her there, but from her he could not part.
The day being warm and pleasant, down by a church they passed;
They joined their hands in wedlock bands, long looked for, but come at last.
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