The Gardenerdetails

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The Gardener

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A smiling young man with hauntingly blue eyes stands smiling at the gate to his thatched country cottage. A lady with a country-style scarf and dress addresses him.

The gardener stands in his bower-door,
With a primrose in his hand,
And by there came a leal maiden,
As jimp’s a willow wand.

‘O lady, can you fancy me,
For to be my bride,
You’ll get a’ the flowers in my garden,
To be to you a weed.

‘The lily white shall be your smock;
Becomes your body neat;
And your head shall be deckd with jelly-flower,
And the primrose in your breast.

Your gown shall be o’ the sweet-william,
Your coat o’ camovine,
And your apron o’ the salads neat,
That taste baith sweet and fine.

‘Your stockings shall be o’ the broad kail-blade,
That is baith broad and long;
And narrow, narrow at the coot,
And broad, broad at the brawn.

‘Your gloves shall be the marygold [marigold],
All glittering to your hand,
Well spread o’er wi’ the blue blaewort,
That grows in corn-land.’

‘O fare you well, young man,’ she says,
‘Farewell, and I bid adieu;
Since you’ve provided a weed for me,
Among the summer flowers,
Then I’ll provide another for you,
Among the winter showers.

‘The new-fallen snow to be your smock;
Becomes your body neat;
And your head shall be deck’d with the eastern wind,
And the cold rain on your breast.” (p. 28)

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