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Servant of Rosemary Lane

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Servant of Rosemary Lane

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Servant of Rosemary Lane

When I was a servant in Rosemary Lane
I gained the goodwill of my master and dame,
Till at length a young sailor came there for to lie,
Which was the beginning of my misery.

He called for a candle to light him to bed,
He called for a napkin to tie round his head;
To tie round his head as he used for to do,
And he vowed and he swore I should come to bed too.

In the middle of the night this young man grew bold
And into my lap he threw handfuls of gold,
Saying 'Take this, my dear, and more you shall have.
I'll be a friend to you as long as I live.'

So we tumbled and tossed by the light of the moon;
We rose the next morning all in the same tune.
The very next morning this young man arose
And dressed himself out in his tarpaulin clothes.

'Alas,'then I cried,'oh, I am undone.
He has left me with child of a daughter or son;
And if 'tis a girl she shall stay at home with me,
And if' tis a boy he shall plough on the sea.

'With his long-quartered shoes, check shirt and blue jacket,
On the quarter-deck he shall stand like a bold British tar;
So I'll dry up my milk as you shall plainly see,
And pass for a maid in my own country.'
From Oxford Book of Sea Songs
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