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As I roved out one evening in the lovely month of June,
A-viewing of those pretty flowers all in their youthful bloom,
'Twas there I spied lovely Nancy, that girl I do adore,
She was my joy and fancy no man could love her more.
Oh, Nancy, lovely Nancy, and won' t you marry me?
I got no stores of riches but I got love for thee;
There's richer men than what I am but I do love you so,
If I had gold in mountains it would be yours you know.
To marry you, kind sir, she says, it's a thing I cannot say,
For I do believe in time your love will soon decay;
When she got her own free will 'twas plain for to be seen,
How can I mourn for Nancy, oh, wear the willow's green?
In the space of three weeks after this fair girl changed her mind,
She wrote to me a letter, hoping I would prove kind;
Saying, I am sorry for what I said, I pray, love, you'll forgive,
We'll join our hands in wedlock's bands, in hand and heart we'll live.
l wrote her back an answer all in a scornful way,
Saying, Nancy, lovely Nancy, don't you think no more on me;
I got another more suitable, she's willin' to take your place,
I let you know I can sing and dance if I never saw your face.
Come all ye pretty fair young girls, a warning take by me,
Don't ever slight your first true love all for his poverty;
For gold and silver it's a curse, all riches will decay,
But the kindness of a fond true love will never fade away.
Collected in 1951 from Jim Molloy 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).