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The Bold Deserter My parents reared me tenderly, I being their only son, But little did they ever think that I should follow the drum; Till at length I courted a fair pretty maid who soon did gain my heart, She first advis'd me to enlist and then for to desert. Oh! once I thought I never should be in this dejected state, A poor distracted effigy expos'd to hardships great. The birds that flutter in the trees strike terror to my heart, And every star alarmeth me; Oh! why did I desert? 'Twas under cover of a tree that I was forc'd to lie, To shelter from my enemies although my friends were nigh; Just like an owl that hides by day I dare not show my face, But soon my journey I'll pursue and seek some friendly place. My brother he came riding by not knowing I was there,, My voice aloud to him did cry but me he could not hear; His horse bore him from me away, I could not bring him to, So here distress'd Oh! I must be not knowing what to do. My sword and sash and blue coat, too; all these I left behind, And on my journey I'll pursue some secret place to find. To the Light Horse I must bid adieu, which once was my delight, And now my journey I'll pursue and travel in the night. Now to conclude and make an end to my deserting song, I hope to shine in armour bright and that before too long; Here's my Colonel and my officers have got clothes for me to wear And if they'll combine and pardon me I will desert no more. From The Constant Lovers, Purslow RG
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!