#00850
The Mantle So Green (Kenneth Peacock)
See also: My Mantle Of Green (MacEdward Leach)

As I roved out one morning in June,
To view the sweet fields and the meadows in bloom,
I spied a fair damsel, she appeared like a queen,
With her costly fine robes and her mantle of green.

I stood in amazement, I was struck with surprise,
I thought her an angel that fell from the skies;
Her teeth shone like ivory, her cheeks like the rose,
She was one of the fairest that nature composed.

I said, "My pretty fair maid, will you come with me?
We will then join in wedlock and married we'll be;
I will dress you in fine clothing, you'll appear like a queen,
With your costly fine robes and your mantle so green."

She answered, "Kind sir, you must me excuse,
I will wed with no other, you must be refused;
To the green hills I'll wander to shun all men's view,
For the lad that I love lies at famed Waterloo."

"Since you are not married tell me your love's name,
For I've been in battle and might know the same."
"Draw near to my garment it is plain to be seen,
His name is embroidered on my mantle so green."

On the rising of her mantle there I did behold
His first name and surname in letters of gold;
Young 'Willie O'Reilly' appeared in my view,
"He was my loyal comrade at famed Waterloo.

"We fought so victorious where bullets did fly,
On the broad fields of battle your true love do lie;
We fought for three days till the fourth afternoon,
He received his death summons on the eighteenth of June.

"As I was passing by him I heard his last cry:
'Fare you well, lovely Nancy, be true till I die,'
And now it's all over and the truth I'll declare,
For this is your love's token, this gold ring that I wear."

When first she did hear it all joys from her fled,
She fell down quite senseless like a girl that was dead.
In my arms I held her with my heart full of love,
"Arise, lovely Nancy, your grief I'll remove.

"For I am the young man who first won your heart,
And where is the ring, love, we broke when we part
In your father's fine garden beneath a green tree,
Where I rolled you in my arms in your mantle so green?"

This young couple got married so I heard people say.
Great and noble attended on their wedding day;
Now the wars are all over and peace is proclaimed,
You are welcome to my arms, lovely Nancy, again.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, The Mantle So Green [Laws N38] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957). Also a variant of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, The Mantle So Green published by J Moore (Belfast) sometime between 1846 and 1852, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Harding B 26(417). And also a variant of a 19th-century Scottish broadside ballad, The Mantle So Green, probably published between 1880 and 1900, and archived in The Word On The Street digital library at the National Library of Scotland, shelfmark: L.C.Fol.70(85a) ....####
Collected in 1952 by Kenneth Peacock from Henry James (Harry) Curtis [1895-1963] of Joe Batt's Arm, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 2, pp.555-556, by The National Museum Of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

A variant was sung in 1950 by Edward (Ned) Martin [1873-1955] of Cape Broyle, NL, and published as My Mantle Of Green in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was also published as #87, The Mantle So Green, on pp.176-177, in Ballads And Sea Songs Of Newfoundland by Elisabeth Bristol Greenleaf and Grace Yarrow Mansfield (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1933; Folklore Associates, Hatboro, Pennsylvania, 1968).

Kenneth Peacock noted that this Irish Waterloo ballad has appeared on many English broadsides. Both William Roy Mackenzie [1883-1957] and Helen Creighton [1899-1989] have noted it in Nova Scotia.



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