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The Death of a Romish Lady There was a Romish Lady, brought up in popery, Her mother always taught her that the priest she must obey; "Oh, pardon me, dear mother, I humbly pray thee know For unto these false idols, I can no longer bow." Assisted by her handmaid, a Bible she concealed, And there she gained instruction, till God His love revealed, No more did she prostrate herself to pictures decked in gold But soon she was betrayed, and her Bible from her stole. "I'll bow alone to Jesus, I'll worship God unseen, I'll live by faith forever, the works of men are vain, I cannot worship angels, nor pictures made by man, Dear mother, use your pleasure, but pardon if you can." With grief and great vexation, her mother straight did go To tell the Roman clergy the cause of all her woe, The priests was soon assembled, and for the maid did call, And put her in a dungeon to fright her soul with all. The more they strove to fright her, the more she did endure. Although her age was tender, her faith was strong and sure, Her chains and jewels so costly they from this lady took, Ana she with all her spirits the pride of life forsook. Before the Pope they brought her, in hopes of her return, And there she was condemned in horrid flames to burn, And to the place of torment they fetched her speedily, With lifted hands to heaven she then agreed to die. There being many ladies assembled in that place, She raised her eyes to heaven and begged supporting grace, "Weep not, oh tender ladies, shed not a tear for me, While my poor body's burning here, my soul in heaven shall be." Yourselves you need to pity, and Zion's deep decay, You better turn to Jesus and make no more delay, In comes her raving mother, her daughter to behold, In her hand she brought the Romish pictures decked with gold. "Oh take from me these idols, remove them from my sight And give me back my Bible, in which I take delight, Alas, my aged mother, why on my ruin bent? 'Twas you who did betray me, and I am innocent." "Tormentors, use your pleasure, and do what you think best, I know my blessed Jesus will take my soul to rest, And when these words were spoken, up steps the man of death And kindled up the fire for to stop her mortal breath. Instead of golden bracelets, with chains they bound her fast She cried, "My God, give power, for I must die at last; With Jesus and his angels forever I shall dwell, God pardon priests and people, and so I say farewell." From Ozark Folksongs, Randolph Collected from Mr. J. M. Peacock, MO 1927 Note: According to Herndon (Life of Lincoln), this was a childhood favorite of Abraham Lincoln. Rg DT #540 Laws Q32 RG
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!