Henry And Nancy (Kenneth Peacock)

When I was young and youthful,
my age scarce twenty-one,
I roamed about from town to town
for pleasure and for fun;
I done no wrong, I harmed no one,
but the truth I mean to tell,
For to gain an honest poor girl's heart
it plagues my mind quite well.

'Twas there that I intended
to spend a happy life,
It being my whole intention
for to make this girl my wife;
She was the treasure of my heart,
my own, I loved her dear,
I courted her three long years
till her parents came to hear.

And when they heard this story
they flew into a rage,
For to think that in my company
their daughter was engaged;
They called their only daughter,
this unto her did say:
"If that's the man you intend to wed,
you'll never enjoy the day."

They took her by the shoulders,
they could do nothing more,
They put her in her chamber
and quickly locked the door;
And her old mother
this unto her did say:
"You keep your true love in your mind
and I will keep the key."

"Oh, mother dear, you're foolish
to lock me in for love,
For I'll have satisfaction
by all the rules above."
With a pen and ink took in her hand
and gave one heavy sigh, saying,
"My love shall know my misery
before an hour pass by."

Young Henry on his pillow
that night lay fast asleep,
He dreamt he saw his Nancy,
in sorrow she did weep;
He woke up with a heavy sigh
and gently raised his head,
A letter in deep mourning
lay there all on his bed.

He took it up all in his hands,
those very words did say:
"In the honor of our Saviour,
what brought this here to me?"
And the writing on the sorrowful lines
this unto him did say:
"I am here locked in my chamber
and my parents hold the key."

Young Henry was intending
to have his love released,
He disguised himself that evening,
went to her dwelling place;
And as he reached the castle,
asleep her parents lay,
He crept beneath the pillars,
he gently stole the key.

He went down to his Nancy's room
and then unlocked the door,
'Twas there he found his Nancy
a-lying on the floor;
He took her up all in his arms,
those very words did say:
"You are my only treasure, love,
and by your side I'll stay."

'Twas then he did embrace her
and press her to his heart,
Saying, "In spite of your old-age parents,
from this weary world we'll part,
We will put them to more trouble
until their dying day,
And if God will forgive our sinful souls,
let us take our lives away.

"To stain my hands all with your blood,
to me it's a dreadful sight,
But we must part from this cruel world
together this very night.
I can't spare your life and let you live
alone to bleed your heart."
So they bid each other a last farewell
from this weary world to part.

Her parents did not know this
when they awoke next day,
They went down to the chamber
in which their daughter lay;
With a ghastly sight before their eyes
as they opened wide the door,
And the very last drop of their heart's blood
lay streaming on the floor.

They picked her up all in their arms
and gave one bitter scream, saying,
"We're the cause of your cruel death,
yourselves are not to blame;
We're the cause of your cruel death
the truth we'll ne'er deny,
But I hope you'll be forgiven
by His Infant One on high."

Her mother on her pillow
that night could take no rest,
Her daughter's ghost appeared to her
with a ghastly wounded breast, saying,
"You're the cause of our cruel death
and what we suffered here,
So fare you well, I now must leave
and quickly disappear."

Come all ye who have children,
a warning take by me,
Don't be severe or hinder them
or they'll meet the very same fate;
But trust in God who rules on high,
His honor you will obey,
And I hope they'll be happy
with their child until the Judgement Day.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a British Broadside ballad Henry & Nancy or The Lover's Separation printed without a date or publisher's name ....####

Collected in 1951 from Michael (Mike) A Kent [1904-1997] of Cape Broyle, NL, by Kenneth Peacock and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 3, pp.675-676, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.


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