As I was a walking one morning in May,
I spied a young couple a-making of hay,
O one was a pretty maid and her beauty shone clear,
And the other was a soldier, a bold grenadier.
A-walking and a-talking and a-walking together,
O a-walking so far till they couldn't tell whither,
So they sat themselves down by the clear crystal stream
For to see the flowers grow and hear the nightingale sing.
In kisses and compliments he took her round the middle,
And out of his knapsack he drew forth his fiddle,
And he play'd such a fine tune as made the groves ring:
"Hark hark" said the fair maid, "How the nightingale sings."
"O come," said the soldier, "tis time to give o'er."
"O no," said the fair maid, "we will have one tune more,
I do like your music and the tune of your string,
I do like to see the flowers grow and hear the nightingale sing."
"Then come," says the fair maid, "will you marry me?"
"O no!," says the soldier, "O that can never be,
For I've got me a wife in my own counteree,
O so fair a woman that ever you see."
"I've got me a wife there, and child-er-en three,
Two wives in the army ‘s too many for me,
But if I should return, O! ‘t will be in the spring,
I will show you how the flowers grow, make the nightingale sing."
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