As I walked out one fair summer's morning,
Down by the ocean I chanced to see
a youth approaching in melancholy,
Who seemed to weep most bitterly.
I asked this young man why he lamented,
Why he lamented and wept full sore.
At which he told me the very reason
Was for the love of a lady fair.
I told this young man to leave off weeping
And to be contented in all his mind,
And to make a solemn resolution
Against the wiles of female kind.
Awake, arise, you charming creature,
Awake, arise; it is almost day.
How can you sleep, you charming creature,
Since you have stolen my heart away?
Awake, arise, go ask your father
If you this night my bride may be,
And if he says, “No,” love, pray come and tell me,
And I’ll no longer trouble thee.
I’ll not arise and ask my father,
For he’s in bed taking his ease.
And, besides, a letter in his pocket
Speaks very much in your dispraise.
In my dispraise, love? In my dispraise, love?
In my dispraise, love? How can that be?
For the very last time I saw your father
He promised you my bride should be.
May the seas dry, love, may the fish fly, love,
May all the rocks melt down with the sun,
May the laboring man forget his labor, If ever I unto you return.
Note: I heard my father say that this is a very old song. He did not say where he heard it, but I heard him say it before we left Nova Scotia, over fifty years ago.