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Sentry Box

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The Sentry Box

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The Sentry Box

'Twas on one Sunday evening on sentry did I stand
I fell in love with some pretty girl by shaking of her hand;
By shaking of her hand, my boys, and the passing of a joke,
I slipped her into the sentry box and roll'd her up in my cloak.

O! there we toss'd and tumbl'd till daylight did appear
Then I arose, put on my clothes, saying, "Fare you well my dear.
The drums they are a-beating and the fifes so sweetly play,
If it wasn't for that, dear Polly, along with you I'd stay."

If anyone comes a-courting you, you treat them with a glass -
If anyone comes a-courting you, say you're a country lass.
You need not even tell them that ever you pass'd a joke,
That ever you went in a sentry box wrapp'd up in a soldier's cloak.

"Now come, my valiant young soldier, O! won't you marry me?"
O! no, my dearest Polly, such things they never can be,
For married I am already and children I have three,
Two wives are allow'd in the army, but one is enough for me."

"O! now, my valiant young soldier, why hadn't you told me so?
My parents they'll be angry if ever they come to know.  "
When nine long months was up and pass'd this this poor girl she brought
For she had a little militia boy and she could not tell his name.

From the Constant Lovers, Purslow
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