#01411
Bold Wolfe (Kenneth Peacock)
See also: Brave Wolfe (Martin Carthy)

Come all you young men all, let nothing fright you,
Cheer up you young men all, let this delight you;
Never let your courage fail when brought to trial,
Or let your fancy move at your first denial.

I sat down by my love thinking to woo her,
I sat down by my love not to delude her;
But if ever I speak one word my tongue do quiver,
I darest not speak my mind whilst I am with her.

"Madam, here's a diamond ring, long time I have kept it,
Madam, here's a chain of gold if you'll accept it;
But when you oppose me think on the giver,
Madam, remember me, undone forever."

Bold Wolfe he took his leave from his dear jewel,
Sorely she did lament, "Love, don't prove cruel."
He said, " 'Tis for a space that I must leave you,
And love, where'er I go I won't deceive you."

This brave and gallant youth has a-crossed the ocean,
To free Americay of all her perversions;
He has landed at Quebec with all of his party,
The city to attack both brave and hearty.

Bold Wolfe called up his men in a line so pretty,
On the Plains of Abraham before the city,
On the plains before the town where the French did meet us,
And all the numbers 'round they did mean to beat us.

So mutely bold Wolfe, on his mount came walking,
So mutely between two armies stalking;
When a-shot from off of his horse fell that brave hero,
And we'll lament his loss that day in sorrow.

The French are seen to break, their ranks are flying,
Bold Wolfe he seems to wake as he lay dying;
In lifting up his head where the drums did rattle,
Unto his army said, "How goes the battle?"

His lieutenant did reply, "It is in our favour,
Quebec and all her pride, there is none can save her,
It is falling in our hands with all its treasure."
"And now," replies bold Wolfe, "I'll die in pleasure."

####.... Author unknown. Variant of the earliest known Anglo-Canadian ballad, Brave Wolfe [Laws A1] Native American Balladry, G Malcolm Laws (1964/1950) ....####

Collected in 1958 from Isaac Freeman Bennett [1896-1984] of St Paul's, NL, by Kenneth Peacock and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 3, pp.986-987, by The National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that after two hundred years of oral transmission, one would expect the pretentious literary tone of this ballad to have been drastically modified. However, the ballad appeared in so many printed broadsides and books during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that its literary matrix has hardened beyond recall. The occasional phrase of this Newfoundland variant receives a new, though not necessarily better, treatment. For example, Peacock continued, "all her perversions" in verse five was originally "faction's dire commotion." The first part of the story is quite true. Before his departure Wolfe did become engaged to a Katherine Lowther, but there is no record of his being shot from a horse as the ballad would have it. Fortunately the tune is interesting enough to make up for some of the textual shortcomings.


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