Rose Of Britain's Isle (Traditional)

Both high and low attention give,
and quickly you shall hear,
It's of a maiden fair and gay
who lived in Lincolnshire;
Her cheeks like blooming roses red,
on a face appeared a smile,
This fair one's name was lovely Jane,
the rose of Britain's Isle.

She was a farmer's daughter,
his pride and only joy,
And when eighteen she fell in love
with her father's apprentice boy,
Young Edmond lived contented,
Jane did his heart beguile,
By all above, he cried,
I love the rose of Britain's Isle.

Oh, when her father came to know
this couple a-courting were,
He in an angry passion flew,
how dreadful he did swear;
Saying, if you bring disgrace on me
I'll send you many a mile,
With great disdain you'll cross the main
from the rose of Britain's Isle.

Young Edmond on board a ship was sent
to sail across the main,
While Jane at home did weep and mourn,
her bosom swelled with pain;
She dressed herself in sailor's clothes,
and in a little while,
On board of the ship with Edmond went
the rose of Britain's Isle.

They had not been many days at sea
when a storm it did arise,
And when young Edmond went aloft
Jane wept with tearful eyes;
'Twas little did young Edmond know
that Jane did on him smile,
Or by his side did stand his bride,
the rose of Britain's Isle.

It was when they came near the coast of Spain
the enemy gave the alarm,
And by a ball, young Jane did fall,
which shattered her left arm;
The seamen ran to lend their aid
while Jane in agony smiled,
The surgeon beheld some maid,
'tis the rose of Britain's Isle.

Young Edmond he was sore surprised
and troubled with much pain,
And when young Jane recovered,
they were both sent home again;
And the people were with wonder struck,
and the villagers did smile,
Saying, you're welcome back, young Edmond,
and the rose of Britain's Isle.

Her father being dead and gone,
most joyful to relate,
And all his gold he willed to Jane,
likewise a large estate;
And they were married while the bells did ring,
and the villagers did smile,
Long and happy may young Edmond reign
with the rose of Britain's Isle.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a British broadside ballad, The Rose Of Britain's Isle [Laws N16] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957) ....####
This variant collected in 1948 from Edmund Henneberry of Eastern Passage, Halifax County, Nova Scotia, by Helen Creighton [1899-1989] and published as #48, Rose Of Britain's Isle, in Songs And Ballads From Nova Scotia (Dover, 1966).

A variant was published as #29 in Ballads And Sea Songs Of Newfoundland, by Elisabeth Bristol Greenleaf and Grace Yarrow Mansfield (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1933; Folklore Associates, Hatboro, Pennsylvania, 1968).

A variant was also collected by Maud Karpeles as #50 in Folk Songs From Newfoundland (Oxford 1934; London 1971).

Note: Edith Fowke commented in her Sea Songs And Ballads From Nineteenth Century Nova Scotia (1981) that although at least four different broadside printers issued this ballad in England, it does not seem to have survived in British tradition, nor has it been reported in the United States. However, it has been quite popular in Canada, turning up in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Ontario.


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