William and Nancy?s Parting

Come all you pretty maidens that have a mind to go
Along with your true love to face the daring foe;
For I?ve a mind to venture where cannon balls to fly.
Along with my true love my fortune to try,
He said my dearest Nancy I hope you?ll not repine
For I must go on board our noble fleet to join,
Our orders are for sea my dear and now we must away
So make yourself contentented behind me for to stay,
Then she replied sweet Willaim pray do not leave me here here.
I?ll dress myself in a sailor?s array and with you I will steer.
Let me go with you your messmate for to be,
And when on board a man of war I?ll fight most manfully,
He said my lovely maiden great danger is at sea
Perhaps we may be shipwreck?d of the ship be cast away,
And in the line of battle perhaps you may be slain,
So make yourself contented behind me to remain.
Your pretty little fingers that are so long and small
You?d think it was hard usage our cable ropes to haul
When blustering winds they blow high and billows loud do roar,
So make yourself contented my dear and stay with me on shore
And now my love is gone abroad as I must tell you plain,
Kind heaven now protect him to plow the raging main
Protect him from all dangers where cannon balls do fly
And send sweet William back again as I may him enjoy.

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