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Young Melvyn (Kenneth Peacock)

Both young and old come ponder
what I now relate,
It's of a cruel treachery
in Charlottetown of late,
The memory of my ripe few years
be always on the boy,
Young Melvyn was that young man's name,
his mother's only joy.

The memory of that much-loved son
his mother's eyes behold,
The murder of the deepest
fall on his immortal soul.
To gaze upon that fair young man
no one would ever thought
So horrible a crime as this
would enter his young heart.

'Tis of her I now must speak
that cruel death was o'er,
The broken-hearted parents dear,
the saddest of them all,
Their hearts were filled with sorrow,
they were mourning for their son,
And when the tears was falling fast
that cruel deed was done.

Mary being tall, young, and fair,
so proud her beauty bore,
Went forth to meet with one she loved
so she ofttimes did before,
And as she tripped along the road
one look back home she cast,
But little in her heart she dreamt
that it would be her last.

Her thoughts was sad on her brother dear
was buried that same day,
She stood beside the silent grave
and seen him ebb away,
The tears was fresh upon her cheeks
as she went on her way,
Expecting to meet with one she loved
to wipe those tears away.

She met further what horrid fate,
anguish, and despair,
If that poor wretched corpse would speak,
alas, what would we hear!
Anguishing cries, and bow to him,
and bid her life to spare,
Standing with a weapon in his hand
he seized that pistol near.

Her fresh young life he took away,
the breath of life was gone,
He took her to a river,
tied to a heavy stone,
And as he cast her body in
he slowly looked around,
Saying, "No one will ever think of this,
she never will be found."

The watchful eyes of God
was on that every movement there,
And soon before the justice
they loudly did declare:
"Shame on that beastly villain
who led that girl astray,
And cruelly to hide his shame
he took her life away."

Now come, young girls, a warning take
before it is too late,
Be careful in your friendship,
and choose a proper mate,
For when in company of men
be prudent and take care,
Put no temptation in their way,
of flattering beware.

As they will say kind and loving words,
they'll whisper in your ear,
Seek the vows of those you love
and judge for their sinceres,
And mothers who got children dear,
pray every day and hour,
Pray to that Lord who reigns above
to keep them by His power.

Come, young men, a warning take
by friends who wish you well,
Think on young Melvyn as he lay
locked in his lonesome cell,
Think on the anguish and despair
when told that he must die,
That he must pay the penalty
for the love he has denied.

Young Melvyn's eyes did stream with tears,
with bitter anguish fell,
When to his parents and those he loved
he bid a last farewell.
"Now cover up my eyes," he said,
"that I might never see
That gallows in the dreadful spot
that now do wait for me."
Young Melvyn paid the penalty,
he sleeps beneath the sod,
We'll leave him to the mercy
of our everliving God.

####.... Author unknown. Traditional murder ballad ....####

Collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1958 from Mrs Charlotte Decker [1884-1967] of Parson's Pond, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 2, pp.643-644, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.


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