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The Young Farmer
(Laws N20; Roud 141)
Katie Droney
Bellharbour

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

Katie Droney

There lived a young squire in Thomastown, Clare.
He courted a nobleman’s daughter that was handsome and fair,
And to marry this fair one it was his intent.
Her friends and relations, they all gave consent.

The day was appointed, a wedding to be,
The young farmer was chosen the groomsman to be,
But as soon as the lady the farmer espied;
‘You’re my charmer, my lover and my darling’, she cried.

She returned from the squire, but nothing has said.
Instead of being married, she retired to her bed,
But the thoughts of the farmer still ran through her mind,
A plan for to gain him she quickly did find.

‘Tis a vest, coat and jacket this lady put on,
As she went a-hunting with her dog and her gun.
She kept coursing all day where the farmer did dwell,
Because in her heart she loved him right well.

She often had fire but nothing had killed,
Till at last the young farmer came into the field;
And to discourse with him it was her intent,
With her dog and her gun for to meet him she went.

‘I thought you were at the wedding’, the lady replied,
‘To wait on the squire and to give him his bride.’
‘No sir’, said the farmer, ‘I’ll take sword in hand
To gain that lady I do intend.’

The lady was glad when she heard him speak so bold.
She gave him her glove all embroidered with gold,
Saying, ‘I have found it coming along
As I was a-hunting with my dog and my gun.’

The lady went home with her heart full of love.
She sent out public notices that she had lost her glove;
‘And whoever will find it and bring it safe to me,
And if it be a man-kind ‘tis married we’ll be.’

The farmer was glad when he heard of the news
And straight to this lady he instantly goes.
Saying, ‘Humble but fair one, I picked up your glove,
And will you be so kind as to grant me your love?’

‘’Tis already granted’, the lady replied,
‘I have the young farmer’, she earnestly cried.
‘I’ll be mistress of my dairy and I’ll milk my own cows,
While my jolly young farmer whistles after his plough.’

And when she was married she told all the fun,
How she hunted the farmer with her dog and her gun.
‘And now, as I have him quite fast in the snare,
I love him forever I vow and declare.’

"Dating back to at least the beginning of the 18th century, though claimed to be much older, this is said to be based on an incident which occurred in England during the reign of Elizabeth I. The reference in verse six of the farmer waiting on the squire and giving him his bride refers to a marriage custom once popular in England where the bridegroom enters the church on the arm of a bridesmaid and the bride follows accompanied by the bridegroom’s man, whose duty it was to give her away.”
Jim Carroll

See also
Golden Glove sung by Martin Howley


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