Rosie

by Buz Collins

boat

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I'm the man who tends the locks upon the Stourbridge Canal
I work the flight at Wordsley, in the keeper's house I dwell
Contented four and thirty years my salary for to earn
Till the day that I saw Rosie from the bridge at Wordsley turn

Now she had come from Banbury to work for Stourbridge glass
And on her way to Dudley town my cottage she would pass
I'd help her up the hillside with the morning sun above
And by the time the sunset came and she returned I was in love

But Rosie had a master who was cruel and severe
He treated her so badly that her misery was clear
As my love for her grew stronger so I knew what had to be
I would take my Rosie from him and together we would flee

It was many hours past midnight that I crept down to the dock
The watchman he was sleeping so I quietly picked the lock
Her master still out drinking there was Rosie all alone
And it's gently I caressed her now I had her for my own

I quietly released her ropes and pushed her from the side
And towed her to the corner where the darkness did us hide
I started up her engine and I pushed her into gear
And for Tewkesbury we sailed away beneath the stars so clear

Despite my joy and happiness I knew it could not last
We reached the Severn early but the news had travelled fast
The police were waiting for me as through Stourport we did sail
And they took my Rosie from me and locked me in the jail

So now I am an old man I still work the Stourbridge flight
And narrowboats still pass me in the day and in the night
But Rosie she's gone back to carry coal to Banbury cross
And she's left me here lamenting for the love that I have lost
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