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Courtship & marriage

Single life for me

(35) Single life for me

A SINGLE LIFE FOR ME.

Come all young men of high renown,
I have some thing to relate,
The consequence of wedlock's bands,
Permit me for to state ;
All you young men that want a wife,
Pray look before you join,
For I'll lead a life, and a merry merry life,
And it shall be a single one.

I've no cradle for to rock,
Nor midwives for to see ;
A young man may laugh in his sleeve,
With another man's wife on his knee.
Where you have been be seen no more,
So quickly quit the ground,
Neither lass nor lad can call me dad,
So now my boys drink round.

All you young men within this place,
I charge you every one,
To help a female in distress,
When her husband's far from home.
Treat her till the break of day,
And then from her begone,
Saying I'll lead a life, and a merry merry life,
And it shall be a single one.

I've got no wife to scold me,
No babies for to cry ;
So now I can live at my ease,
Who so happy as I.
I can drink a flowing bowl,
No one can me confound,
Neither lass nor lad shall call me dad,
So now my boys drink round.

If I should meet with a pretty young girl,
I know what way to do,
I'll give her a touch but not too much,
And away from her I'll go.
I say, my dear, pray come this way,
Your joys shall be unknown,
So I'll lead a life, and a merry merry life,
And it shall be a single one.

When I sit down to dine,
No one can on me frown,
I can call for a glass, and a sprightly young lass,
And treat her as my own ;
To the public house I can go,
And spend a jovial crown,
So I'll lead a life and a merry merry life,
And it shall be a single one.

[NLS note: a graphic appears here - see image of page]

  FARE-THEE-WELL.

Fare-thee-well ! and if for ever,
Still for ever, fare-thee-well !
Even though unforgiving, never
'Gainst thee shall my heart rebel.
Would that breast were bared before thee,
Where thy head so oft hath lain,
While the placid sleep came o'er thee,
Which thou ne'er canst know again !

Would that breast by thee glanc'd over,
Every inmost thought could show !
Then thou wouldst at last discover,
'Twas not well to spurn it so.
Though the world for this commend thee,
Though it smile upon the blow ;
Even its praises must offend thee,
Founded on another's woe.

Yet, oh yet thyself deceive not,
Love may sink by slow decay ;
But, by sudden wrench, believe not,
Hearts can thus be torn away.
Still mine own its life retaineth,
Still must thine, though bleeding, beat,
And the undying thought that paineth,
Is, that we no more may meet.

All my faults, perchance thou knowest,—
All my madness, none can know ;
All my hopes where'er thou goest,
Whither, yet with thee they go.
Every feeling hath been shaken,—
Pride, which not a world could bow,
Bows to thee—by thee forsaken,
Even my soul forsakes me now.

But 'tis done ! all words are idle,
Words from me are vainer still ;
But the thoughts we cannot bridle,
Force their way without the will.
Fare-thee-well ! thus disunited,
Torn from every nearer tie,
Seared in heart, and lone, and blighted,—
More than this, I scarce can die.

       Walker, Printer, Durham.
                                                      [24]

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