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The Sprig of Thyme

From the north of England.
Tune: Collected from Lancashire last century.

    Come all you tender girls
    That flourish in your prime
    Beware, beware keep your garden fair
    Let no man steal your thyme
    Let no man steal your thyme.

    I had a sprig of thyme
    It flourished night and day
    Till at length there came a false young man
    And stole my thyme away
    And stole my thyme away.

    And now my thyme is gone
    And I can plant no new
    And in every place where my thyme did grow
    Is overrun with rue
    Is overrun with rue.

    O rue it is a running root
    It flourishes night and day
    I wish I was in that young man's arms
    That stole my thyme away
    That stole my thyme away.

    O come you false young men
    Don't leave me to complain
    The grass that's trodden underfoot
    In time will rise again
    In time will rise again.

    Floral key:
         Thyme:         hope/virginity.
         Rue:           regret.

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