Skip to main content


Sheffield apprentice

                THE SHEFFIELD

             A P P R E N T I C E.

I was brought up in Sheffield, but not of high degree,
My parents doated on me, they had no child but me,
I rov'd about with pleasure where e'er my fancy led,
Till I was bound 'prentice then all my pleasures fled.

I did not like my master, he did not use me well,
I made a resolution not long with him to dwell ;
Unknown to my parents I then did run away,
And steered my course to London, O cursed be the day.

And when I came to London, a lady met me there,
And offered me great wages to serve her for a year,
Deluded by her promises with her I did agree,
To go with her to Holland, which proved my destiny.

I had not been in Holland passing half a year,
Before my beautiful mistress did love for me declare,
She said, my gold and silver, my houses, and my land,
If you consent to marry me, shall be at your command.

I said my lovely mistress, I cannot wed you now,
For I have lately promised, and made a solemn vow,
To wed with none but Polly, your pretty chambermaid,
Excuse me, dear mistress, she has my heart betrayed.

Then in an angry humour from me she flew away,
Resolved for my presumption to make me dearly pay,
She was so much perplexed she could not be my wife,
She said she'd seek a project to take away my life.

As she was in the garden upon a summer's day,
And viewing the flowers that were both fine and gay,
A gold ring from her finger took as I was passing by,
She slipt it in my pocket, and for the same I die.

My mistress swore I robb'd her, and quickly I was brought,
Before a grave old justice, to answer for my fault,
Long time I pleaded innocent, but every hope was vain,
She swore so plain against me that I was sent to goal.

Then at the next assizes was tried, condemned and cast,
Then presently the judge the dreadful sentence passed,
From thence to execution they brought me to a tree,
So God reward my mistress for she has ruined me.

All you that come to see me here before that I do die,
Don't laugh at my downfall, or smile at my destiny,
Believe me I'm quite innocent, the world I bid adieu,
Farewell my pretty Polly I die for loving you.

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


        DEWY GROVE.

A maiden sought the dewy grove,
When morn woke earth to joy ;
Her recent path, there then pursued
A brave young hunter boy.

When in the grove, the youth enquired,
" Sweet maid, what dost thou there ;"
She answered straight, " to gather wood
I to the wood repair."

He said " ah ! let the branch unculled
Beside its parent lie ;
Come I would taste thy ruby lips,
And smile into thine eye."

"Go, leave me," cried the laughing maid,
" These eyes are liquid blue ;
The hunter's badge is green or grey,
Then green grey eyes for you ;"

"O cunning scholar," answered he,
" Your reas'ning holds not true,
Dost see where now yon bird I shoot,
Is not that heaven blue.

But let me win thy dainty kiss,
And laugh into thine eyes,
They, too, form a heavenly bliss,
A nearer paradise."

Then kiss and smile if both thou wilt,
But kiss and smile with truth;
Nor darken with dishonour's clouds,
The pure bright heav'n of youth."


Images and transcriptions on this page, including medium image downloads, may be used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence unless otherwise stated. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence