The Gardener

No: 219; variant: 219B

  1. ALL ye young men, I pray draw near, I’ll let you hear my mind Concerning those who fickle are, And inconstant as the wind.
  2. A pretty maid who late livd here, And sweetheatrs many had, The gardener-lad he viewd them all, Just as they came and gaed.
  3. The gardener-lad he viewd them all, But swore he had no skill: ‘If I were to go as oft to her, Ye surely would me kill.
  4. ‘I’m sure she’s not a proper maid, I’m sure she is not tall;’ Another young man standing by, he said, Slight none at all.
  5. ‘For we’re all come of woman,’ he said, ‘If ye woud call to mind, And to all women for her sake Ye surely should be kind.’
  6. ‘The summer hours and warm showers Make the the trees yield in the ground, And kindly words will woman win, And this maid I’ll surround.’
  7. The maid then stood in her bower-door, As straight as ony wand, When by it came the gardener-lad, With his hat in his hand.
  8. ‘Will ye live on fruit,’ he said? ‘Or will ye marry me? And amongst the flowers in my garden I’ll shape a weed for thee.’
  9. ‘I will live on fruit,’ she says, ‘But I’ll never marry thee; For I can live without mankind, And without mankind I’ll die.’
  10. ‘Ye shall not live without mankind, If ye’ll accept of me; For among the flowers in my garden I’ll shape a weed for thee.
  11. ‘The lily white to be your smock; Becomes your body best; And the jelly-flower to be your quill, And the red rose in your breast.
  12. ‘Your gown shall be o the pingo white, Your petticoat cammovine, Your apron o the seel o downs; Come smile, sweet heart o mine!
  13. ‘Your shoes shall be o the gude rue red—- Never did I garden ill—- Your stockings o the mary mild; Come smile, sweet heart, your fill!
  14. ‘Your gloves shall be o the green clover, Comes lockerin to your hand, Well dropped oer wi blue blavers, That grow among white land.’
  15. ‘Young man, ye’ve shap’d a weed for me, In summer among your flowers; Now I will shape another for you, Among the winter showers.
  16. ‘The snow so white shall be your shirt; It becomes your body best; The cold bleak wind to be your coat, And the cold wind in your breast.
  17. ‘The steed that you shall ride upon Shall be o the weather snell, Well bridled wi the northern wind, And cold sharp showers o hail.
  18. ‘The hat you on your head shall wear Shall be o the weather gray, And aye when you come into my sight I’ll wish you were away.’