Jemmy and Nancy of Yarmouth, or, the constant lovers (1815-1820)

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Jemmy and Nancy of Yarmouth, or, the constant lovers  (1815-1820) 

Date is estimated.





The Constant Lovers.




Printed for the Booksellers.

Jemmy and Nancy of Yarmouth.

All lovers, I pray lend an ear to my story,
Take an example by this constant pair,
For love this young virgin did blast in her glory,
Beautiful Nancy of Yarmouth we hear.
She was a merchant's only daughter,
Heir unto fifteen hundred a-year:
A young man courted her, call'd her his jewel,
The son of a gentleman who lived near.

Many long years this maid he admired,
When but very young in love they agreed ;
And when come of age this couple arrived,
Cupid an arrow between them display'd.
Their tender hearts were linked together,
But when their parents the same did hear,
They to their charming young beautiful daughter,
Acted a part that was base and severe.

Daughter, they said, give over proceeding,
If that against our consent you do wed,
For evermore we resolve to disown you,
If you wed with one who so meanly is bred.
Her mother said, you have a great fortune,
Besides you are charming beautiful and young;
You are a match, dear child, that is fitting
For any Lord that's in Christendom.

Then did reply this young beautiful virgin,
Riches and honour I both do deny,
If I'm deprived of my dearest lover,
Then farewell the world, which is all vanity.
Jemmy's the man that I do admire,
He is the riches that I do adore!
For to be greater I never desire,
My heart is fixed never to love more.

Then, said her father, 'tis my resolution,
Altho' I have no more daughters but thee,
If that with him ye resolve for to marry,
Banish'd for ever from me shall thou be.
Well, cruel father, but this I desire,
Grant me that my Jemmy once more I may see,
Tho' you do part us, I still will be loyal,
For none in the world I admire but he.

For the young man he sent in a passion,
Saying, for ever, Sir, now take your leave,
I have a match more fit for my daughter,
Therefore it is but a folly to grieve.
Honoured father, said the young lady,
Promis'd we are to each other in love;
Why of all comforts will you bereave me?
Our love is fixed never to remove.

Then, said her father, a trip to the ocean
You first shall go in a ship of my own;
And I'll consent you shall have my daughter,
When into Yarmouth again you return.
Honoured Sir, then said the two lovers,
Since 'tis your will, we are bound to obey:
Our constant hearts can never be parted,
But our eager desire no longer can stay.

Then said kind Nancy, behold, my dear Jemmy!
Here take this ring, the pledge of our vow;
With it my heart; keep it safe in your bosom;
Carry it with you wherever you go.
Then in his arms he close did enfold her,
While crystal tears like a fountain did flow,
Crying, my heart in return I do give you,
And you shall be present wherever I go.

When on the ocean, I am sailing,
The thoughts of my jewel with the compass I steer,
These tedious long days swift time will devour,
And bring me home safe to my lovely dear.
Therefore be constant, my dear lovely jewel,
For if that ye shall unto me prove untrue,
My troubled ghost shall torment you for ever
Dead or alive I will have none but you.

Her lovely arms round his neck she twined,
Saying, my dear, when you are on the seas,
If that the waves unto us should prove cruel,
That we each other no more may see.
No man alive shall ever enjoy me,
Soon as the tidings of death reach my ear,
Then, like a poor unfortunate lover,
Down to the grave I will go to my dear.

Then with a sorrowful sigh he departed ;
The wind the next morning blew a pleasant gale;
All things being ready, the fam'd Mary Galley
Away for Barbadoes she straightway set sail.
Jemmy was floating upon the wide ocean,
And her cruel parents were plotting the while,
How that the heart of their beautiful daughter,
With cursed gold they should strive to beguile.

Many a lord of fame, birth, and breeding,
Came for to court this young beautiful maid
But their rich presents and proffers she slighted
Constant I'll be to my jewel, she said.
Now, for a while, we'll leave this fair maiden,
And tell how things with her lover did go
At length at Barbadoes the ship safe arrived,
But now observe these lovers' overthrow.


Jemmy was comely in ev'ry feature,
A Barbadoes lady, whose fortune was great,
So fix'd her eyes, that she cried, if I have not
This brave English sailor, I'll die for his sake.
She then drest herself in a gallant attire,
With costly diamonds she platted her hair:
A hundred slaves to run with her car;
She sent for this young man to come unto her.

Come, handsome sailor, she cry'd, can you fancy
A lady, who fortune and riches are great?
You shall have a hundred slaves to attend you;
Music to charm you till you fall asleep.
In robes of gold, my dear, I will deck you!
Pearls and rich jewels I'll lay at your feet!
In a fine gilded chariot you shall ride at pleasure!
If you can love me now answer me straight.

Amazed with wonder, a while he stood gazing!
Forbear, noble lady, at length he reply'd,
In England I've vow'd unto a young Lady,
Upon my return to make her my bride.
She is a charming young beautiful creature!
She has my heart, I can love none more!
I bear in my eye her sweet lovely feature!
No other creature on earth I adore.

Hearing of this she did rave in distraction,
Crying, Unfortunate maid, thus to love
One that does basely slight all my glory,
And who of my person he will not approve.
Lords of renown I their favour have slighted,
O now I must languish for a sailor bold!
I cannot blame him because he is constant,
True love is better than silver or gold.

A costly jewel she instantly gave him,
Then in her trembling hand took a knife;
One fatal stroke, before they could save her,
Quickly did put an end to her life.
Great lament was made for this lady,
Jemmy on board the ship he did steer,
Unto old England he homeward came sailing,
With a longing desire to meet with his dear.

But when her father heard he was returning,
He wrote a letter to the boatswain, his friend,
Saying, a handsome reward I will give you,
If you the life of young Jemmy will end.
Void of all mercy, and for sake of the money,
The cruel boatswain the same did complete;
As they upon the deck were one day walking,
He suddenly tumbled him into the deep.


IN dead of the night, when all were asleep,
His troubled ghost to his love did appear,
Crying, arise, my beautiful Nancy,
Perform the vow that you made to your dear.
You are, my own, therefore tarry no longer;
Seven long years for your sake I did stay;
Hymen doth wait for to crown us with pleasure,
The bride-guests are ready, then come away.

She cried who's there, under my window?
Surely it is the voice of my dear!
Lifting her head from her soft downy pillow,
Straight to the casement she did repair.
By light of the moon, which brightly was shining,
She spy'd her lover, who to her did say,
Your parents are sleeping, before they awake,
Stir, my dear creature, and come away.

O Jemmy, she cry'd, if my father should hear,
We both shall be ruin'd, I pray thee repair
Unto the sea-side, I'll there meet with you;
With my two maids I'll meet with you there.
Her night-gown embroider'd with gold and silver,
Carelessly round her body she instantly throws,
With her two maids who did attend her,
To meet her lover she instantly goes.

Close in his arms did the spirit enfold her,
Jemmy, she said, you are colder than clay!
Sure you're not the man that I did admire;
Paler than death you appear unto me.
Yes, fairest creature, I am your true love;
Dead or alive, you know you're my own!
I come for thy vow, my dear, you must follow
My body now to a watery tomb.

I, for your sake, refus'd gold and silver;
Beauty and riches for you I despised;
A charming lady for me did expire;
For thinking on you I was deaf to her cries.
Your cruel parents have been my undoing,
And now I do sleep in a watery grave;
Now for thy promise, my dear, I am shewing,
Dead or alive now you I must have.


THE trembling lady was sorely affrighted?
Amazed she stood near the brink of the sea!
With eyes lifted up, she cry'd, cruel parents,
May you be requited for your cruelty.
She then cry'd aloud, my dear, I am coming,
Now into thy bosom I'll soon fall asleep!
When she had thus spoken, this unfortunate Lady
Suddenly plung'd herself into the deep.

When to her father the maidens thus told!
He wrung his hands, saying what have I done
Oh! dearest child, it was thy cruel father
That did provide thee a watery tomb.
Two or three days being then expired,
These two unfortunate lovers were seen
In each other's arms on the waves a-floating,
By the side of the ship on the watery main.

The cruel boatswain was struck with horror,
Straight did confess the deed he had done,
Shewing the letter that came from her father,
Which was the cause of those lovers doom.
On board of ship he was tried for the murder,
And at the yard's arm was hang’d for the same
Her father he soon brake his heart for his daughter
Before that the ship into the harbour came.

This cursed gold has caused distraction,
Why should the rich covet still after gain?
I hope this story it will be a warning,
That cruel parents may ne'er do the same.
True love is better than jewels or treasure;
Riches can never buy true love I know;
But this young couple love'd out of measure,
Love was the cause of their overthrow.


This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.