Sporting Maggie (Kenneth Peacock)

As I roved out one morning in May,
The day was wet and rainy,
I met a pretty girl on my way,
And I took her up behind me.

I asked her the question what was her name,
She said she wasn't willing to tell me the same.
She said, "Kind sir, I belong to the game,
For they call me Sporting Maggie."

My Maggie dresses sweet and gay,
She wears an Irish mantle,
And the friendships she makes
in a very cautious way
They draw no shame or scandal.

Her two rolling eyes so black as sloes,
And her cheeks just like the blooming rose,
She is neat and gay as you may suppose
Which causes young men to marry.

She says, "Young man, don't make me afraid,
For I am the mistress of my trade,
I long to court with a sporting young blade
That pleases Sporting Maggie."

"If I had you in yonder field
Where the greensward is a-growing,
If I had you in yonder valley
Where the meadow is set for mowing,
I would make you curse every errant rogue
Who heard your name was Maggie."

"But if you love me as I love thee,
What a sporting couple we would be;
I would learn you a game called one-two-three,
And I'd play it on your belly!"

####.... Author unknown. Traditional Newfoundland ballad ....####

Collected in 1959 by Kenneth Peacock from George William Decker [1878-1962] of Rocky Harbour, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 1, pp.314-315, by The National Museum Of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that the symbolic reference to the 'greensward' and the 'meadow' set for 'mowing' in verse six place this comic love ballad in the old English metaphorical tradition. The text as a whole, however, betrays a more modern Irish influence.

From The Free Dictionary:
Greensward - Ground that is green with grass; turf.


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