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Bold Deserter

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The Bold Deserter

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The Bold Deserter

My parents reared me tenderly, I being their only son,
But little did they ever think that I should follow the drum;
Till at length I courted a fair pretty maid who soon did gain my
She first advis'd me to enlist and then for to desert.

Oh! once I thought I never should be in this dejected state,
A poor distracted effigy expos'd to hardships great.
The birds that flutter in the trees strike terror to my heart,
And every star alarmeth me;  Oh! why did I desert?

'Twas under cover of a tree that I was forc'd to lie,
To shelter from my enemies although my friends were nigh;
Just like an owl that hides by day I dare not show my face,
But soon my journey I'll pursue and seek some friendly place.

My brother he came riding by not knowing I was there,,
My voice aloud to him did cry but me he could not hear;
His horse bore him from me away,  I could not bring him to,
So here distress'd Oh! I must be not knowing what to do.

My sword and sash and blue coat, too; all these I left behind,
And on my journey I'll pursue some secret place to find.
To the Light Horse I must bid adieu, which once was my delight,
And now my journey I'll pursue and travel in the night.

Now to conclude and make an end to my deserting song,
I hope to shine in armour bright and that before too long;
Here's my Colonel and my officers have got clothes for me to wear
And if they'll combine and pardon me I will desert no more.

From The Constant Lovers, Purslow
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