Collected by M. C. Parler
Mrs. Drettie Smith Winslow, Ark. August 25, 1959
Reel 316, Item 7
Come all you unmarried men, sit ye down by me.
A bachelor's warning I’ll give unto thee.
When you court a fair lady, don’t court her too slow,
Or go after any other till she tells you no.
I courted lovely Nancy till her affection I won.
Then after another straightway I did run.
’Twas the height of my pleasure, proved the greatest of woe,
I lost lovely Nancy by courting too slow.
As I wandered over mountains and through valleys alone,
Where the small birds were singing and making sad moans,
The thoughts of lovely Nancy rolled over my mind;
Many times I thought of her as I walked along.
I wrote her a letter that she might well know That I had not forgot her, although I didn't go.
She was lawfully married when this letter did go.
She wrote me an answer, you have been too slow.
Sweet William when he heard this it struck him for death.
Oh, shall I die lovesick and never get well?
Lovely Nancy, when she heard that, it filled her with grief.
I’ll go to Sweet William and grant him relief.
The way she went to him was by his bedside,
Saying, Here stands the fair lady who should have been your bride. I am lawfully married, but I'd die for your sake.
She threw her arms around him and felt his heart break.
Sweet William is dead and I hope he's at rest.
Lovely Nancy, she fainted and died on his breast.
Saying don't sleight my poor husband, Don't sleight him I pray,
Or throw this up to him, my going away.
She heard it from her mother.
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