#02046
Molly Agnew (MacEdward Leach)

On a morning
Whilst the dewdrops besprinkled each meadow so gay,
I spied a fair maiden as she was a-walking,
I drew myself nearer for to hear her sad woe.

Her hair by the breezes so gently was waving,
Her silks and gold tresses in ringlets hung down;
She appeared like some goddess alone as she wandered,
And her dress was a napkin and plain russet gown.

I stepped up unto her and said lovely fair one,
Why do you roam on those deserts so wild?
Come tell me your name and your sad situation,
And I'll shelter you this night from the desert's cold wind.

Oh, she said, kind sir, I got no situation,
But roaming those deserts in aspect to view;
I'm a plain country girl of a low situation,
I go by the name of young Molly Agnew.

My father one time was possessed of a fortune,
Together we lived till the year ninety-nine,
Until freedom did honour the sons of our nation,
And for liberty's cause the war we were forced for to join.

Oh, now they are gone and our land is prosecuted,
For lack of employment those deserts for to roam;
I'm a maiden all alone, I am near broken hearted,
Because now I am driven to beg, starve or die.

I stepped up unto her and said, lovely fair one,
Will you consent for to be my fond wife?
And never again will you bear prosecution,
And we'll both go and live on the banks of the Clyde.

With modest behaviour she quickly consented,
And back to Nova Scotia with her I did go;
It was in Philadelphia they joined us together,
And I folded in my arms young Molly Agnew.

l stepped up unto her and said, lovely rare one,
Will you consent for to be my bride?
And never again will you bear prosecution,
And we'll both go and live on the banks of the Clyde.

With modest behaviour she quickly consented,
And back to Nova Scotia with her I did go;
It was in Philadelphia they joined us together,
And I rolled in my arms young Molly Agnew.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, Molly Agnew, published by The Poet's Box (Glasgow) in 1854, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: 2806 b.11(175) ....####

Collected in 1951 from Mrs Mary Dunphy [1907-1984] of Tors Cove, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was also collected by Helen Creighton and published as #30, Molly Agnew, in Folksongs From Southern New Brunswick (National Museums of Canada, Ottawa, 1971).


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