The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #18461   Message #3912128
Posted By: Jim Dixon
20-Mar-18 - 06:00 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Early One Morning (trad English)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE LAMENTING MAID / EARLY ONE MORNING
Wikipedia cited this as the earliest known printing of EARLY ONE MORNING. It's so different from the well-known version, it's hard to see how you could call it the same song. But it has the same opening line, it fits the same meter and rhyme scheme, and the theme is similar.

From the Bodleian collection, Firth c.18(103):


THE LAMENTING MAID.

Early one morning just as the sun was rising,
There did I hear and a fair maiden say,
Crying: "O Cupid, O send my love to me.
Give me my shepherd or else I shall die.

"How can you slight a poor girl that loves you?
False-hearted young man, tell me why.
'Twas your fond doing which provèd my ruin.
'Tis all for the sake of a young man I die.

"Down in the meadow and sweet shady bower
There can I witness the vows to me you made.
Go, you false pretender! Don't you remember
When first my poor innocent heart you betray'd?

"How can you slight a poor girl that loves you?
How would you like to be servèd so?
You're ever a-ranging; your mind is always changing.
You're always seeking for beauties that are new.

"But when you have rang'd and have try'd every fair one,
The truth of my love perhaps you then may find.
Some they will cheat you; with false arts they'll meet you,
But my love to you's of the purest kind.

"Should you fall in love with a false-hearted woman,
Perhaps she may slight you and treat you unkind.
Anguish, grief, and sorrow, they will bid you good morrow.
The torture of a lover you surely then will find."

THE ANSWER

Who's that I hear now making lamentation?
Surely it is the voice of my love.
I'll be no longer cruel to my dearest jewel,
But constant and true like the turtle dove.

Tho' I've been ploughing the wide ocean
For honour and riches to bring to my dear,
Now the wars are over, I'll be no more a rover,
For a sailor's heart is ever sincere.

Tho' I have rang'd and have seen many a fair one,
And many have sought my heart to invade,
The truth I'll discover: I ne'er sought a lover,
For 'tis you alone the conquest have made.

Why does my fair one then sit hesitating?
Let us go to the church where I'll make you my wife.
I am no pretender; my heart I'll surrender,
Then take it in keeping and bless me for life.