Digital Tradition Mirror

Since Love Can Enter an Iron Door

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Since Love Can Enter an Iron Door

It's of a damsel neat, tall and handsome,
Those lines are true as I've been told,
On the banks of Shannon in a lofty mansion
Her father claimed great stores of gold.

Her hair was as black as the raven's feathers,
To form her features describe who can.
Why does folly belong to nature?
She fell in love with her servant man.

As Mary Ann and her love were walking
Her father saw them and near them drew,
As Mary Ann and her love were talking,
Her father home in great anger flew.

To build a dungeon was his intention
To part true lovers he contrived to plan,
He swore an oath which is too wild to mention
That he'd part his daughter from her servant man.

He built a dungeon with brick and mortar,
Three flights of stairs all underground,
And the food he gave her was bread and water,
On nothing else was the poor girl found.

Three times a day he would cruelly beat her,
Till at length she in anger began,
Saying, "Father dear, if I am transgressed
I'll live and die for my servant man."

When Edmund found out her habitation
Was well secured by an iron door,
He vowed and swore that by all the nations
He'd gain her releasement or be no more.

Then at his leisure he'd toil with pleasure
To gain releasement of Mary Ann,
He sought his object; he gained her favour,
She cried, "My faithful young servant man."

A suit of clothes he brought his lover,
In men's attire for to disguise,
Saying, "For your sake I will face your father,
To see me here it will him surprise."

When her cruel father brought bread and water,
Loud for his daughter he then did call,
When Edmund answered, "I've cleared your daughter
The one in fault is your servant man."

When the old man saw that his daughter vanished
He like a lion began to roar,
He said, "From Ireland I'll have you banished,
With my broadside I will spill your gore."

"Agreed," said Edmund, "and at your leisure
Since I have cleared her do all you can,
But give your daughter to loyal pleasure,
The one at fault is your servant man."

When the old man found him so tender-heart
He fell down on the dark dungeon floor.
He said true lovers should ne'er be parted
Since love can enter an iron door.

Now those young couple they are instead
To roll in riches this couple can,
Young Mary Ann at her royal pleasure
Is blessed for ever with her servant man.

DT #580
Laws M15
From Creighton, Songs and Ballads of Nova Scotia, no. 84
Collected from William Faulkner of Devil's Island, NS

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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