Pretty Bessy Milkmaid A squire and his sister They sat in a hall As they were singing Some sad, mournful song, Pretty Betsey, the milkmaid Came tripping along. "Do you want any new milk?" Pretty Betsey she said "Oh yes," said young squire, "Step ye in, pretty maid And set ye down by me, And my bride I will make you, And soon it shall be. "Oh, it's hold your tongue, squire, And let me go free, And don't make such game Of my sad poverty. There are ladies passing More fitting than me. "I am just a poor milkmaid Brought up on a cow." The ring from his finger He give it thereon, And straight through the middle He broke it in two. One half he gave to Betsey, As I have been told; So they both went a-walking Down the blackberry fold. The squire said to Betsey, "Let me have my will "And constant remaining With your fair body, And if you deny me in this wide open field Oh, my dear, I will force you Against your own will." With huggling and struggling Pretty Betsey got free, And with her sharp scissors She pierced his body. She pierced his fair body Till the blood did flow; Straight to her master Like lightning did go. Straight home to her master With tears in her eyes, "I've wounded your young squire; In danger he lies. It was on my fair body He began to prove bold; So I left him bleeding Down blackberry fold." The cab was sent for, And the squire brought home. And also 2 doctors To heal up his wounds. His wounds were healed And as always cured. So they sent for pretty Betsey, The charming milkmaid The parson was sent for And this couple joined, And soon they enjoyed Their new married life. About 6 years after The young squire died And left me two babies To lie by my side. So it's better to be honest, If you're ever so poor. So he made me his lady because I was poor. DT #831 Laws O10 From Neely and Spargo NC apr97
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!