Friday, 3 June 2016

The London Convict Maid - Anonymous

Ye London maids attend to me,
While I relate my misery,
Through London streets I oft have stray'd,
But now I am a Convict Maid.

In innocence I once did live,
In all the joy that peace could give,
But sin my youthful heart betrayed,
And now I am a Convict Maid.

To wed my lover I did try,
To take my master's property,
So all my guilt was soon displayed,
And I became a Convict Maid.

Then I was soon to prison sent,
To wait in fear my punishment,
When at the bar I stood dismayed,
Since doomed to be a Convict Maid.

At lenth the Judge did me address,
Which filled with pain my aching breast
"To Botany Bay you will be conveyed,
For seven years a Convict Maid."

For seven long years oh, how I sighed
While my poor mother loudly cried,
My lover wept and thus he said,
"May God be with my Convict Maid."

To you that hear my mournful tale,
I cannot half my grief reveal,
No sorrow yet has been portrayed,
Like that of the poor Convict Maid.

Far from my friends and home so dear,
My punishment is most severe,
My woe is great and I'm afraid,
That I shall die a Convict Maid.

I toil each day in greaf and pain,
And sleepless through the night remain,
My constant toils are unrepaid,
And wretched is the Convict Maid.

Oh could I but once more be free,
I'd ne'er again a captive be,
But I would seek some honest trade,
And never become a Convict Maid.

Anonymous, c. 1830, England
This poem is based on the true story of Charlotte W, a London born girl. The poem is based on a letter she sent to her mother when she arrived in Hobart, and was published as a Broadside about 1830 by "BIRT, Printer, 39, Great St. Andrew Street, Seven Dials."

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