A Copper Colored Native (James Murphy)

May earth her darkest woes accord
The base and heartless catiff,
Who'd dare to call my heart's ador'd
A "copper colored" native.

Oh! may his cold heart ne'er grow warm
With rays from beauty's eye;
Ne'er may he feel love's soft alarm
Who would my zeal descry.

His path be e'er with snares beset
When Sol's last rays are setting;
The sweet smiles dance upon her cheeks,
In bright and gay corvetting.

Her deep brown tresses softly flow,
Lit by a thousand graces,
Circling o'er her neck of snow
In light and magic mazes.

So droop the Accacia's tufted wreaths
O'er beds of lilies blooming;
Such to the fragrance which it breathes,
The earth and air perfuming;

Her blue eyes are an angel's bright,
Her heart as pure and warm;
Her gait as graceful, step as light,
Each hath a matchless charm.

She's a Terra Novian maid
Whom fancy so creative;
Would falsely style in spleen arrayed,
A "copper colored" native.

Oh! did the heartless wretch behold
Her snow white bosom swelling;
In soft bright globes of heavenly mould,
He'd rein his savage yelling.

No longer would his cold breast hoard
A spirit so "inflative";
Nor could he call my heart's adored
A "copper colored" native.

####.... Anonymous. Traditional Newfoundland ballad ....####
Printed in St John's in 1912 on p.3 of Old Songs Of Newfoundland published by James Murphy [1867-1931].

James Murphy's Publisher's Notes:
This song appeared on July 10, 1840 in the Carbonear Sentinel and Conception Bay Advertiser, published from 1836 to 1845 by editor and publisher Thomas Westlake Spry. Our countrymen and women were called copper colored natives by a foreigner.

From the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:
Terra Novian; also Terrnovan; Terra Novean; inhabitant of Newfoundland.

From Wikipedia:
Accacia alt. acacia - genus of shrubs and trees belonging to the subfamily Mimosoideae of the family Fabaceae. They are pod-bearing, with sap and leaves typically bearing large amounts of tannins and condensed tannins that historically in many species found use as pharmaceuticals and preservatives. Acacias are also known as thorntrees, whistling thorns or wattles, including the yellow-fever acacia and umbrella acacias.

From the Free Dictionary:
Catiff - despicable coward; wretch.
Corvetting - curvetting; cavorting; from old Italian corvetta: prancing, frolicking or frisking about.
Descry - discover by careful observation or scrutiny; detect.
Inflative - inflationary; tending to cause inflation.
Spleen archaic - organ in the human body considered to be the seat of emotions or passions.


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