The Widower’s Courtship

Roger a doleful widower,
Full eighteen weeks had been,
When he, to meet the milk-maid Nell
Came smiling o’er the green.

Blithe as a lad of seventeen,
He thus accosted Nell;
Give me your pail, I’ll carry it
For you, if you think well.

Says Nell, indeed my milking-pail
You shall not touch, I vow;
I’ve carried it myself before,
And I can carry it now.

So side by side they walked awhile,
Then he at last did say;
My inclination is to come
And see you, if I may.

Nell understood his meaning well,
And briskly answered she;
You may see me at any time,
If you look where I be.

Says he, but hear me yet awhile,
I’ve something more to tell;
I gladly would a sweetheart be
Unto you, Mistress Nell.

A sweetheart I don’t want, says Nell,
Kind Sir, and if you do,
Another you may seek, for I
Am not the lass for you.

When she had made him this reply,
He’d nothing more to say
But — Nelly, as good night to you,
And homeward went his way.