I once had a wee lass and I loved her well,
I loved her far better than my tongue can tell,
Her parents disliked me for my want of years,
So adieu to all pleasure since I lost my dear.
Then I dreamt last night that my love came in,
And she walked up so soft that her feet made no din.
I thought that she spoke and those words she did say,
“It won’t be long now, love, till our wedding day.”
Then according to promise at midnight I rose
And found nothing there but the down-folded clothes,
The sheets they were empty, as plain as you see,
And out of the window with another went she.
Oh, it’s Molly, lovely Molly, what’s this that you have done?
You have pulled the thistle, left the red rose behind;
The thistle will wither and decay away soon,
But the red rose will flourish in the merry month of June.
Then if I was a fisherman down by the seaside
And Molly a salmon, coming in with the tide,
I would cast out my net and catch her in a snare,
I would have lovely Molly, I vow and declare.
Or if I was an eagle and had two wings to fly,
I would fly to my love’s castle and it’s there I would lie,
In a bed of green ivy I would leave myself down,
With my two folded wings I would my love surround.
From Songs of the People, Sam Henry
“Wee lass” is sometimes replaced with “true love” or “sweetheart”.