One evening as I walked down by yon green bush,
I heard two birds whistling – ’twas the blackbird and the thrush –
I asked them the reason they were so merrie,
And the answer that they gave me, ‘They were single and free.’
I sent my love a red rose, a red rose so fIne;
She sent me an answer mixed with rue and thyme.
Saying ‘Keep your red rose, and I’ll keep my thyme,
And drink you to your true love, and I’ll drink to mine.’
I sent my love a letter, to see if she’d mourn;
She sent back an answer, she could do her own turn:
‘I can work or sit idle – when occasion I see –
I can rest when I’m tired, he is no match for me.’
Oh! meeting’s a pleasure, but parting’s a grief,
And an unconstant lover, is worse than a thief,
For a thief can but rob you, steal all that you have,
But an unconstant lover would send you to your grave.