By chance it was I met my love
It did me much surprise
Down by a shady myrtle grove
Just as the sun did rise.
The birds they sang right gloriously
And pleasent was the air
And there was non save she and I
Among the flowers fair.
In dewy grass and green we walked
She timid was and coy
How can'st thou choose but pity me
My pretty pearl, my joy
How comes it that thou stroll this way?
Sweet maiden tell me true
Before bright phoebus' glittering ray
Has supped the morning dew?
I go to tend the flocks I love
The ewes and tender lambs
That pasture by the myrtle grove
That gambol by their dams
There I enjoy a pure content
At dawning of the day
Then, hand in hand, we lovers went
To see the flock at play.
And as we wended down the road
I said to her, "sweet maid,
Three years I in my place abode
And three more must be stayed
The three that I am bound so fast
O fairest wait for me
And when the weary years are past
Then wedded we will be."
"three years are long, three times too long
Too lengthy the delay"
And then I answered in my song
"hope wastes them quick away
Where love is fervent, fain and fast
And knoweth not decay
There nimbly fleet the seasons past
Accounted as one day."