Mary Ecklan (MacEdward Leach)

Come all ye fond lovers of Erin,
I hope it's to me ye'll unfold,
And see how I'm left here forlorn,
No pleasures in life to behold.

I am six months in this sad situation,
Bound down in cold irons it's true,
For nothing but loving a fair one,
I'm afraid I must bid her adieu.

When her father found out we were courting,
Down in silent ambush he lay.
Convening with me and my true love,
For to hear the last words we would say.

She slipped a gold ring on my finger,
Saying, "Jimmy bear me in your mind,
And if ever you will roam from this island,
I hope you won't leave me behind."

They kissed, both shook hands, and they parted,
Intended to meet the next noon,
But hard was the heart of her father,
He confined my love close in a room.

The strong guard of police he got ready,
And swore by the ring on my hand,
It is for the squire, young Dawson,
I'm afraid in a trial I will stand.

But Mary, being loyal and constant,
Straightway to my trial she comes,
My parents they sat there forlorn,
Saying, "I will protect you, dear son."

They kindly saluted those nobles,
And this unto them she did say:
"If any of you loved a fair one,
Would you like to be banished away?

"It's seven long years we are courting,
I own that I gave him my heart;
And nothing but death will ever part us,
If me and my Jimmy must part."

And now my hard trial it is over,
And thanks be to the powers above,
And likewise to young Mary Ecklan,
It was she bore the armours of love.

They dwell near the banks of the Shannon,
In love and in sweet unity.
May God bless my own darling Mary,
The day she proved constant to me.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a British broadside ballad, Mary Acklin (The Squire's Young Daughter), [Laws M16] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957). Also collected in 1839 from a broadside printer's catalogue, George Walker Catalogue (1839), Slip Songs, No.205, printed on the Northeast coast of England by George Walker, Jr of Durham, UK ....####

Collected in 1951 from F Leonard (Leo) Molloy [1903-1989] of St Shott's NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada ©2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was published as #93, The Squire's Young Daughter on p.169 in Ballads And Sea Songs Of Newfoundland by Elisabeth Bristol Greenleaf and Grace Yarrow Mansfield (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1933; Folklore Associates, Hatboro, PA, 1968).


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