As I rov'd out one ev'ning fair
It being in the summertime to take the air
I spied a sailor and a lady gay
And I stood listen
To hear what they would say.
He said "Fair lady, why do you roam
For the day it is spent and the night is on."
She heaved a sigh, while the tears did roll
"For my dark-eyed sailor,
So young and stout and bold.
"'Tis seven long years since he left the land,
A ring he took from off his lily-white hand
One half of the ring is still here with me,
But the other's rolling,
At the bottom of the sea."
He said, "Ye may drive him out of your mind,
Some other young man you'll surely find;
Love turns aside and soon cold does grow,
Like a winter's morning,
The hills all white with snow."
She said, "I'll never forsake my dear,
Although we're parted this many a year.
Genteel he was and rake like you,
To induce a maiden,
To slight the jacket blue."
One half of the ring did young William show,
She ran distracted in grief and woe,
Saying, "William, William, I have gold in store
For my dark-eyed sailor,
Has proved his overthrow."
There is a cottage by yonder lea,
This couple's married and does agree;
So maids be loyal when your love's at sea,
For a cloudy morning,
Brings in a sunny day.