Old Ballads eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 44 pages of information about Old Ballads.

This lass so neat, with smiles so sweet. 
  Has won my right good-will;
I’d crowns resign to call her mine—­
  Sweet lass of Richmond Hill.

Ye zephyrs gay, that fan the air,
  And wanton through the grove,
Oh, whisper to my charming fair,
  I’d die for her I love!

How happy will the shepherd be
  Who calls this nymph his own! 
Oh, may her choice be fix’d on me? 
  Mine’s fix’d on her alone.

        James Upton.


Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind, That from the nunnery Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind, To war and arms I fly.

True, a new mistress now I chase,
  The first foe in the field;
And with a stronger faith embrace
  A sword, a horse, a shield.

Yet this inconstancy is such,
  As you, too, shall adore;
I could not love thee, dear, so much,
  Loved I not honour more.

        Richard Lovelace.


She wore a wreath of roses that night when first we met,
Her lovely face was smiling beneath her curls of jet;
Her footsteps had the lightness, her voice the joyous tone,
The tokens of a youthful heart where sorrow is unknown. 
I saw her but a moment, yet methinks I see her now,
With a wreath of summer flowers upon her snowy brow.

A wreath of orange flowers when next we met she wore,
The expression of her features was more thoughtful than before,
And standing by her side, was one, who strove, and not in vain,
To soothe her leaving that dear home she ne’er might view again. 
I saw her but a moment, yet methinks I see her now,
With a wreath of orange blossoms upon her snowy brow.

And once again I saw that brow, no bridal wreath was there,
The widow’s sombre cap conceal’d her once luxuriant hair;
She weeps in silent solitude, for there is no one near,
To press her hand within his own, and wipe away the tear! 
I see her broken-hearted, and methinks I see her now,
In the pride of youth and beauty, with a wreath upon her brow.

        Thomas Haynes Bayly.


O Nanny, wilt thou go with me, Nor sigh to leave the flaunting town?  Can silent glens have charms for thee, The lowly cot and russet gown?  No longer drest in silken sheen, No longer deck’d with jewels rare, Say, can’st thou quit each courtly scene, Where thou wert fairest of the fair?

O Nanny, when thou’rt far away,
  Wilt thou not cast a wish behind? 
Say, can’st thou face the parching ray,
  Nor shrink before the wintry wind? 
Oh, can that soft and gentle mien
  Extremes of hardship learn to bear,
Nor sad regret each courtly scene,
  Where thou wert fairest of the fair?

Project Gutenberg
Old Ballads from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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