I sowed the seeds of love, it was all in the spring,
In April, May, and June, likewise, when small birds they do sing;
My garden’s well planted with flowers everywhere,
Yet I had not the liberty to choose for myself the flower that I loved so dear.
My gardener he stood by, I asked him to choose for me,
He chose me the violet, the lily and pink, but those I refused all three;
The violet I forsook, because it fades so soon,
The lily and the pink I did o’erlook, and I vowed I’d stay till June.
In June there’s a red rose-bud, and that’s the flower for me!
But often have I plucked at the red rose-bud till I gained the willow-tree;
The willow-tree will twist, and the willow-tree will twice, –
O! I wish I was in the dear youth’s arms that once had the heart of mine.
My gardener he stood by, he told me to take great care,
For in the middle of a red rose-bud there grows a sharp thorn there;
I told him I’d take no care till I did feel the smart,
And often I plucked at the red rose-bud till I pierced it to the heart.
I’ll make me a posy of hyssop, – no other I can touch, –
That all the world may plainly see I love one flower too much;
My garden is run wild! where shall I plant anew –
For my bed, that once was covered with thyme, is all overrun with rue?