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Crime & punishment

Murder of Betsy Smith

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

            MURDER OF
         BETSY SMITH.

Come all false-hearted young men and listen to my song,
It's of a dreadful murder that lately has been done,
On the body of a damsel fair, the truth I will unfold,
The bare relation of this deed will make your blood run cold,

Near Manchester, in Lancashire, this damsel she did dwell,
In service she long time had lived, till this to her befel ;
Her cheeks were like the blushing rose all in the month of May
Until this wicked young man those words to her did say.

" Betsy, my charming creature, you have my heart ensnared !"
And with solemn vowes and promises his love he oft declared,
Till by his false deluding tongue poor Betsy was beguiled,
And soon to her misfortune great, by him she proved with child

On the nineteenth day of August this young man did repair,
Unto the town of Manchester, to meet his Betsy there ;
Says, Betsy, dear, " come let us walk down in the flowery grove,
And there the secret of my heart to you I will disclose."

But O this wicked young man a knife he did provide,
And all unknown to his true love concealed it by his side ;
When to the fatal spot they came he thus to her did say,
" All on this night, within this grove, I will your life betray."

On bended knee she then did fall in sorrow and despair,
And loud for mercy she did call—her cries did rend the air ;
With clasped hands and uplift eyes, she cried " O ! spare my life
I never will ask of you to make me your wedded wife."

O then this wicked young man said, " no mercy will I shew,
Then took the knife all from his side and pierced her body thro'
But still she smiling said to him, though trembling with fear,
" Oh ! Thomaa, Thomas, spare my life ! think on your baby dear.

Twice more then with the fatal knife he pierced her body thro'
Her throat was cut from ear to ear, most dreadful for to view ;
Her arms and hands and beauteous face he cut and mangled so,
While down upon her lily white breast the crimson blood did
pour.

Then soon this young man taken was and unto prison sent
In rattling chains he is confined his crime for to lament,
Until the assizes do come on, where trembling he must stand
To answer for the deed he's done, waiting the dread command.

Durham : Printed by George Walker, Jun.—Sold
by John Livsey, Shudehill, Manchester.

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        MY AIN FIRESIDE.

Come, my lads, let's mount and go,
For I am gaun hame—will you gang or no ;
The drink's a' done, and the lawin's paid,
An, I am gaun hame to my ain fireside.

                                   CHORUS.

My ain fireside, my ain fireside,
O, I am gaun hame to my ain fireside ;
For the drink's a' done, and the lawin's paid,
And I am gaun hame to my ain fireside.

To sit langer here, wad be a sin,
When siller's scarce and ill to win ;
We'll aye be the dearer, the langer we bide,
We'll a' sit as cheap at our ain fireside.
                                               O, our ain fireside, &c.

My wife she's sittin' at hame her lane,
Wi' sittin' owre late she'll blear a' her een ;
To face her, in faith, I'm almost fly'd
For kickin' up a dust at our ain fireside.
                                               O, our ain fireside, &c.

So I'll sit nae langer here wi you,
If I drink ony mair I'm sure to get fu'
But I'll awa hame whate'er betide,
An' drink tea, wi' my wife, at my ain fireside.
                                               O, our ain fireside, &c.

An' when we have got our tea an' a sang,
We'll cast off our claes, to bed we will gang,
I'll cuddle her in my arms like a new made bride,
An' crack o' the joys o' our ain fireside.
                                               O, our ain fireside, &c.

So here's to every happy chiel'
I frae my heart do wish them weel,
Wha to please their wives tak' aye a pride,
An' aye best content at their ain fireside.
                                               Their ain fireside, &c

Now lasses a' when ye get men,
An' a house to guide o' your ain,
At every little trifle ye maunna chide,
Or ye'll soon raise the diel at your ain fireside,
                                               O, your ain fireside, &c

For she that turns a scolding wife,
An wi' her neighbours aye at strife,
Should get a down come to her pride,
Wi' an empty house and a cauld fireside.
                                               A cauld fireside, &c.
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