The New-Mown Hay

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Melody -
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Traditional ballad

As I walked forth one summer's morn,
Hard by a river's side,
Where yellow cowslips did adorn
The blushing field with pride;
I spied a damsel on the grass,
More blooming than the may;
Her looks the Queen of Love surpassed,
Among the new-mown hay.

2. I said, Good morning, pretty maid,
How came you here so soon?
To keep my father's sheep, she said,
The thing that must be done:
While they are feeding 'mong the dew,
To pass the time away,
I sit me down to knit or sew,
Among the new-mown hay.

3. Delighted with her simple tale,
I sat down by her side;
With vows of love I did prevail
On her to be my bride:
In strains of simple melody,
She sung a rural lay;
The little lambs stood listening by,
Among the new-mown hay.

4. Then to the church they went with speed,
And Hymen joined them there;
No more her ewes and lambs to feed,
For she's a lady fair:
A lord he was that married her,
To town they came straightway:
She may bless the day he spied her there,
Among the new-mown hay.


This song is a village-version of an incident which occurred in the Cecil family. The same English adventure has, strangely enough, been made the subject of one of the most romantic of Moore's Irish Melodies.

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