The day was gone, the moon shone bright,
The village clock struck eight,
Young Mary hasened with de-light
Unto the garden gate.
But what was there to make her sad?
The gate was there but not the lad;
Which made poor Mary say and sigh,
"Was ever poor girl so used as I?"
She waited here, she waited there,
The village clock struck nine;
Which made poor Mary to sigh and swear
"You shan't, you shan't be mine;
You promised to meet me here at eight
You have deceived me and made me wait
But I'll let all such sweethearts see
They never shall make a fool of me."
She traced the garden here and there,
The village clock struck ten,
When William caught her in his arms,
Oh ne'er to part again.
For he had been for the ring that day
Which took him from home such a long, long way,
Then how could Mary cruel prove
To banish the lad she so dearly did love?
Up with the morning sun they rose
To church they went away,
And all the village joyful were,
Upon their wedding-day.
Now in a cot by a river side,
William and Mary both reside;
And she blesses the night that she did wait
For her absent swain at the garden gate.
Lucy Broadwood and J A Fuller Maitland. 1893, English County Songs
, Leadenhall Press, London
(Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six