Within a garden a maiden lingered,
When soft the shades of evening fell
A footstep hearing,
Her love appearing,
To say farewell.
With sighs and sorrow their vows they plighted
Once more embrace, one last adieu;
Tho' seas divide, love,
In this confide, love,
Whate'er betide, love
To thee I'm true.
Long years are over, and still the maiden
Seeks oft at eve the trysting tree;
Her promise keeping,
And, faithful weeping
Her lost love sleeping
Across the sea.
Songs of the West by S. Baring-Gould.
Abridged from S. Baring-Gould's notes.
The original words were so poor, and so closely resembled those of 'The Broken Token' that Mr Shepherd wrote fresh words. The original began-
"A fair maid walking in her garden,
A brisk young sailor passing by;
And he stepped up to her, thinking to woo her,
And said 'Fair maid, can you fancy I?'
'You seem to talk like some man of honour,
Some man of honour, you seem to be;
How can you fancy such a poor young woman,
Not fit your servant for to be?'"
The ballad is published by Such as 'The Young and Single Sailor' No 126. It is also in 'The Vocal Library,' London 1822, p525. It was printed on Broadside by Catnach as 'The Sailor's Return' We obtained it again from James Parsons.
(Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six