The Ballad of William Leddra

The Ballad of William Leddra

O’ why won’t you stay away,
faithful Quaker man
now banished upon pain of death
to be hanged today?

O’ why won’t you stay away,
now chained and whipped daily,
kept close in darkness and decay
to be hanged today?

O’ why won’t you stay away
under sure penalty of death the rulers say
but what evil have you done
to be hanged today?

O’ why won’t you stay away?
You loved those who died, they say,
you proclaimed their innocence, hence
to be hanged today?

O’ why won’t you stay away
you who refused to put off his hat
then would say Thee and Thou
to be hanged today?

O’ why won’t you stay away?
Will you die for breathing the air?
What have they against you
to be hanged today?

O’ why won’t you stay away,
you write to Friends a day before dying
my beloved, I wait like a dove
to be hanged today?

O’ why won’t you stay away,
for at the scaffold you say
take up the cross
to be hanged today?

O’ why won’t you stay away
as they put the halter round your neck,
Lord Jesus receive my Soul, you say
to be hanged today.

O’ why won’t you stay away,
faithful Quaker man
now banished upon pain of death
to be hanged today?