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Valentine's Day

This version is from oral tradition, Wiltshire/Berkshire.
The tune was collected by Cecil Sharp.
It is probably the ballad from which Shakespeare drew Ophelia's song, Saint Valentine's Day .

    Valentine's Day comes once in a year,
    It was early in the morning betime,
    When a young man came to my bedside,
    And he fain would bring me a Valentine.

    He took hold of my lily white hand,
    And led me in the garden so green,
    And what he said there, I freely will declare,
    For the green leaves are plainly to be seen.

    Now this young woman says, you promised to marry me,
    And the very same thing you can't deny,
    You said that I should be your own true love,
    So don't break my heart and tell a lie.

    O you might be in distress, my sweet pretty maid,
    But the promise was nothing of mine,
    Unless you can tell me the place, where and when,
    And the very same hour and the time.

    O I can tell you where, and I can tell you when,
    And the very same hour and the time,
    It was underneath my father's red rosy bud,
    Just as the clock was striking nine.

    Then he gave consent to marry this poor girl,
    Without any further delay,
    But instead of his marrying this poor girl
    He took shipping, and boldly sailed away.

    He is gone, he is gone, and the Lord knows where,
    Perhaps his body may be lying in the cold,
    But if ever he returns again from sea any more,
    I'll encourage him for being so bold.

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