Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
The Courteous Knight; or, the Flying Gallant
 
          The public will hear with astonishment that a British knight of high reputation should have declined the advances of an American lady who has already made some noise in the world, and is likely soon to make more. After having notoriously boasted of his willingness, and even of his anxiety, to meet the lady, as well as of his prowess in such encounters, it is impossible to find for his graceless backsliding a sufficient apology; and all true-hearted maidens ought without the least hesitation, to set him down for a faithless perjured lover.

FOR a nautical knight, a lady—heigho!
  Felt her heart and her heart-strings to ache:
To view his dear person, she look’d to and fro,
The name of the knight was Sir James Lucas Yeo—
  And the Lady—’twas she of the Lake.        5
 
“My good, sweet Sir James,” cried the lady so fair,
  “Since my passion I cannot control,
When you see my white drapery floating in air
O, hither, and swiftly, I pri’thee, repair,
  And indulge the first wish of my soul.”        10
 
The knight heard, afar, of the lady’s desire,
  And sprightly, and gay, made reply:
“As your heart, lovely maid, does my person require,
I assure you, mine burns with the like amorous fire,
  And to your loved presence I’ll fly.”        15
 
From Ontario’s margin the Lady set sail,
  Expecting the knight on that sea:
She dreamt not that he in his promise would fail,
And from a fair Lady, unmanlike, turn tail;
  Yet he tarried!—what could the cause be?        20
 
Impatient to see him, no longer she’d stay;
  Resolved o’er the whole lake to roam;
“O! have you not heard of my stout knight, pray?”
She plaintively ask’d all who came in her way:
  “Do you think he’s to Kingston gone home?”        25
 
At length she espied him:—what should Sir James do?
  He fidgetted, ran, and he tack’d in and out:
He fear’d to embrace her: he promised to woo:
She hail’d him, “Sir James, charming fellow, heave to!
  Why do you my tenderness flout?”        30
 
He fled like a truant; the Lady in vain
  Her oglings and glances employ’d:
She aim’d at his heart, and she aim’d at his brain,
And she vow’d from pursuing she ne’er would refrain;
  The knight was most sadly annoy’d.        35
 
At length from love’s fervour the recreant got clear,
  And may have, for a season, some rest:
But if this fair Lady he ever comes near,
For breaking his promise he’ll pay very dear:
  The price valiant Chauncey knows best.        40
 
 
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