My First Love Was Sarah (MacEdward Leach)

My first love was Sarah: sure none could be fairer
Than she was; in fact I ne'er saw one so fair;
On her I got love-sick: she was a domestic
That lived in a mansion on Madison square.
The first time I met her, I ne'er will forget her,
She out of the house with a dinner bell ran;
'Twas love at first sight, for on that same night,
Sure, I was accepted as Sary's young man.

I was often invited to tea, and delighted
I felt at the welcome she'd always give me;
With sipping our Souchong, we'd talk of affection,
Oh, how I enjoyed the hot muffins for tea!
It happened one night when I called and a sight
Met my view; I could scarcely believe my own eyes;
But there it was true: a big soldier in blue
Sat cozy by Sarah that stared with surprise.

When I demanded my true explanation,
Miss Sarah with such heartless conduct began
To laugh and grow bolder, while her clumsy soldier
Seized hold on the collar of Sary's young man.
Said he, cooly, to me: You're not wanted, you see;
Just quietly take my advice and walk out.
Said I: If I do, then by Jove! you'll come, too,
When the monster began for to knock me about.

While struggling, we both heard the voice of the master.
The soldier, in fright, up the area-steps ran,
And I, soon as able, crawled under the table:
What a nice situation for Sary's young man!
Down came the master; before much faster,
A nasty black poodle, that scampered about;
I shivered with fear, whene'er it came near,
Afraid of it finding my hiding-place out.

My breathing I smothered, but alas! was discovered:
That poodle with sniffing and barking began;
The master then lifted the cloth from the table
And pulled from in under it, Sarah's young man.
My feelings, that moment, I cannot describe them,
My looks, I am sure, must have been most absurd;
But I glanced at my captor, and stuttered and stammered,
Trying to speak, but could say not a word.

The master then tightened his hold on my collar,
Saying: who or what are you! speak out, if you can,
A thief or a lover? -- Said I in a stutter:
Oh, no, if you please, sir, I'm Sary's young man.
I gave to the master a true explanation,
He then let me go, and that ended my fright;
Miss Sarah, of course, she lost her situation,
And likewise her soldier; it served her quite right.

The last time we met, she was full of regret,
And she said: Oh! forgive me just once, if you can;
But said I to her: Fools often fall between stools,
And I'm happy I'm no longer Sarah's young man.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a 19th-century American broadside ballad, Sarah's Young Man, published without a date by H De Marsan, 54 Chatham Street, NY, NY, and archived at the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress, shelf location: American Songs And Ballads, series 4, Vol 4, digital i.d. sb40501a ....####

Collected in 1951 from Cyril O'Brien [1920-1986] of Trepassey, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).


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