Rue and Thyme
Beware, young maids, beware;
Beware, and read my rhyme;
And see that you keep your garden well,
And let no one steal your thyme.
Oh, when my thyme was new,
It flourished both night and day,
Till by there came a false young man,
And he stole my thyme away.
And now my thyme's all gone,
And I can plant no new,
And the very place where my thyme was set
Is all o'ergrown with rue.
And rue runs over all,
And nothing can it stop;
But there grows a flower in my father's garden
They call it the fair maid's hope.
"Now spring up hope," said I,
" And be not afraid of rue ;
And if ever that young man come again,
He'll surely find me true."
The gardener standing by,
I bade him choose for me;
He choose me the lily, the violet, and the pink,
But these I refused all three.
The lily I refused
Because it fades so soon;
The violet and the pink I did them overlook,
And vowed I would wait till June.
In June the red rose buds,
And that is the flower for me;
But in laying my hand on the red rose bush,
I thought of the willow tree.
The willows they grow long,
The willows they grow strong;
And the whole world over may very well knowv
That false love has done me wrong.
It's good to be drinking the beer,
It's good to be drinking the wine;
But it's better far to be on the bonny laddie's knee
That's stolen this heart of mine.
Farewell to all fading flowers,
Farewell to young lovely June,
For the grass that was once trodden under foot,
Perhaps it may rise again.
From Songs of Northern England, Stokoe