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Three Weeks Before Easter Three weeks before Easter, The days long and clear So bright shall they moan and blow in thy ear* So I stepped into the forest to gather flowers gay But the fields they would not yield me any posies. Young men and young maidens to church they do go Young men and young maidens they do make a fine show And I follow after with my heart full with woe, Was to how my false lover was guarded. I saw my false lover all in the church stand, With a ring on her finger and a glove in her hand; And the parson he married her, and the words he did say, "Young men and young maidens, come along this way. Young men and young maidens to church they do go I saw my false lover sat down to meat, And I sat myself by her but none could I eat, For the sight of my false lover was better than meat. I saw my false lover take the candle to bed, With the tears in my eyes that dazzled my sight; I picked up my hat and I wished them goodnight, And adieu to all false lovers. O dig me a grave both long, wide and deep Trim it all over with flowers so sweet So that I may lie down and take a long sleep And that sleep wull last me forever. DT #845 From English Country Songook, Palmer Note: Collected by Vaughan Williams in Essex in 1904. The words to quote Palmer, are "a little garbled inplaces, but the power of the lament is undiminished." For second line, another version has "The sun it shone brightly and keen blew the air." RG RG
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