Once I Loved A Maiden Fair
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Lesley Nelson-Burns

This song was also known as The Revolted Lover. It was entered as a new tune on the Stationers' Register June 1, 1629 by "the Assignes of Thomas Symcocke." It apeared in The Dancing Master (1650-98) and in Playford's Introduction (1664). The original ballad had twelve stanzas. Only three are given here. Once I loved a maiden fair,
But she did deceive me;
She with Venus might compare
In my mind believe me.
She was young, and among
Creatures of temptation,
Who will say but maidens may
Kiss for recreation.

Three time did I make it known
To the congregation
That the church should make us one
As priest had made relation.
Married we straight must be
Altho' we go abegging;
Now, alas! 'tis like to prove
A very hopeless wedding.

Happy he who never knew
What to love belonged,
Maidens wav'ring and untrue
Many a man have wronged.
Fare thee well, faithless girl,
I'll not sorrow for thee;
Once I held thee dear as pearl,
Now I do abhor thee.
From One Hundred Songs of England
See Bibliography for full information.
Additional Information from Bruce Olsen's Roots of Folk Website