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Collection of ballads, songsheets: The Sicilian Maid

Collection of eighty street ballads on forty sheets, mostly with a woodcut printed at London, the majority by J. Catnach (1820ñ1830). London: n.p., n.d. University of Minnesota Libraries. WILSON Rare Books Quarto 820.1 C683.

Broadside pasted to album leaf 14, containing "Faithful Ellen's Happy Meeting" (left column), and "The Sicilian Maid" and "Gaily Circling Glass" (right column).

<Image: Rectangular wood engraving, framed, with beveled corners, showing a boy in a caped uniform and a girl in a dress, carrying a basket and wearing a broad-brimmed had, next to a tree to the right.>

The Sicilian Maid.

J. Catnach, Printer. 2. & 3, Monmouth-court, <7> Dials
Sold by Sharman, Pease Hill, Cambridge.

I Knew a Sicilian maid,
   Whose sire was a crusty old elf,
And he was sorely afraid
   This maiden would chuse for herself.
He kept her close under controul,
By means of a strong lock and key,
   This maiden one evening, poor soul,
Look'd down from her lattice on me.
                            This maiden &c.

Her window with iron he barr'd,
   To none she could utter a word;
I thought it was monstrous hard,
   That this maid should be cag'd like a bird.
At night when sleep conquer'd her sire,
   I flew with a heart full of glee,
And said should the house be on fire,
   Sweet maiden come down unto me.

Some branches I burnt, and the smoke,
   By the wind to the house was convey'd<.>
I cried ëFire!' till her father awoke,
   And let down this poor trembling maid.
He was nearly dead with the fright,
   But no flame nor no sparks could he see<.>
Then this maiden flew down with delight,
   And quickly got wedded to me.

Basic transcription by Eric Welle. Pointed brackets mark emendations.

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Michael Hancher
Department of English, University of Minnesota
URL: <http://umn.edu/home/mh/sicilian.html>
Comments to: mh@umn.edu
Created 5 May 1997