Mary McKinnon's Lament

Ye Dames severe, no longer scorn
    The sufferings which I bear;
To be at once for ever torn
    From all I held so dear!
My heaving bosom burns - I sigh -
    No comforter I see;
Within a dreary Jail I lye,
    And none to pity me.

    And none to pity me, not one,
        There's none to pity me;
    Mongst all this numerous multitude
        There's none to pity me.

Mary McKinnon is my name,
    To misery I was born,
In gauds of iron I did lye,
    Distressed and forlorn;
But now the day appointed's come,
    When thousands do me see,
'Mongst all this numerous multitude,
    There's none to pity me.

'Tis true I smote the gentle Youth;
    And took his life away -
Which all the riches I possess
    Can never once repay;
But then it was in passion keen -
    A dismal hour for me;
For I must end this earthly scene
    Upon the fatal tree.

I once was pure and innocent,
    As dew on summer morn;
My life from day to day was spent
    In joy without the thorn, -
Till wicked man envied my lot -
    My lot that was so free;
He stole my heart in evil hour,
    And left the wretch you see.

Come listen then, you Damsels fair!
    Who love the city gay,
I pray you of its wiles beware,
    Since it will soon betray;
For pleasure was my chief delight -
    I lov'd the midnight glee:
O shun its cursed mad'ning joys -
    It has deluded me!

And you, ye Lads! as forth ye roam,
    In quest of mirth and fun,
Forget not, in your idle brawls,
    By this I was undone.
Provoke not the unfortunate -
    They yet may virtuous be;
Perhaps some sister of a friend
    Should pity draw from thee.

Now my hour is come at last,
    I've left the dreary cell,
McKinnon in her youthful bloom,
    Now bids this world farewell!
Let every one a warning take,
    My fatal end to see,
For now I bid the world adieu,
    Since none can pity me!

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Copyright © 2001, Jack Campin