Thanks so much for posting the MIDI, Joe! And yes, here are the full, totally updated lyrics. I actually decided to group the pairs of verses that go together as one longer verse...what do you all think? (One quick note about the MIDI Joe posted for me...there are obviously rhythmic variations in each verse, and you should feel free to vary the melody or ornament as you wish. The most important thing is that it's in the key of D Mixolydian, so the C is always natural.)
P.S. SO sorry to have let this thread languish (for four years! Yeesh!). In case anyone is interested, one of the reasons I thought to revive it is that I am finally going into the studio this summer to make my first album (YAY!!) and this song is most definitely going to be included!
OK, enough outta me. Here you go, 'Catters! Hope you enjoy it!
The Wiser Maid
by Molly Bauckham
I am a maid-in-waiting, for my Johnny I do pine,
And though for seven years he's gone, he lingers in my mind;
I have put off a hundred men, though fortunes they had earned,
And spend my days upon the shore to see his ship return.
It happened then one evening, as I walked out alone,
A fine young lord approached me beneath the setting sun.
He bowed with courtly manners, he offered me his hand,
And asked if I might walk with him along the white sea-strand.
"O, you are not the first to ask, neither the first refused;
For seven years have lords and poets sought me as their Muse.
But I am not at liberty to walk with any man
Until my true-love John is freed from his captain's command."
"The sailor's life is dangerous," this young man said to me,
"For storms do rage, and waves do toss the ship upon the sea;
What if your love be drowned and lost, and all his vows the same?
Will you then wait forever here, your hope a dying flame?"
"My hope will never die," I cried, "and steadfast shall I stay;
Despite your sweet and honeyed words, you'll not draw me away.
If my dear love is drowned and lost, then likewise I shall be,
And gladly will I lie with him beneath the deep blue sea."
"Your faith is true," he slyly said, "and this I well admire,
But could it be that seven years have caused his own to tire?
What of this John you love so well? What word do you receive?
For surely he'll have written home, your sorrows to relieve?"
Upon these words I must confess a tear I did let fall;
For of my John for seven years I'd had no word at all.
But bravely I did smile, and said, "His letters they are long,
And of his love I am assured; he'll never do me wrong."
When this deceit had passed my lips I blushed and dropped my gaze;
But what I saw when next I looked, my eyes it did amaze!
Gone was his cloak and feathered cap; gone was his satin glove;
And handsome John before me stood, his eyes ablaze with love.
"My precious jewel, my lovely Molly, now I can breathe free--
For seven years my only fear was your forsaking me.
I know you've waited long, my love, and long it's felt to me;
But you have passed the test, and now it's married we will be!"
O, then he clasped me in his arms and kissed me long and sweet;
Then on my finger slipped a ring, and knelt down at my feet.
"O, come with me, my dear," says he, "and to the church we'll go!"
I bent my lips down to his ear and sweetly answered, "No."
Then at his feet I cast his ring, my temper mounting strong;
"For shame!" I cried, "and twice for shame, to do me such a wrong!
For seven years I've languished here while you at sea did play,
And now you seek to test my love--how well I am repaid!"
My Johnny has gone back to sea, his tears and pleas in vain;
And I have made a handsome match, a far more tender man.
My husband he is rich and young, he's honest, fair and wise;
He values me above the sun, and NEVER tells me lies!