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As I roved out on a fine summer's evening,
Down by a flower garden I carelessly did stray;
It was there I beheld a most beautiful damsel,
I set myself in ambush to hear what she would say.
The songs that she sang caused the valleys to ring,
The small feathered songsters around her they flew,
Saying, "The wars they are all over, peace is proclaimed,
And my love is not returned from the plains of Waterloo."
I said, "My fond creature, the pride of all nature,
Since I must make as bold as to ask your love's name,
For I being in battle where great guns did rattle,
From your description I may know the same."
"Willie Smith was the name of my hero of fame,
He enlisted as a soldier which caused me to rue;
And there's no one I'll enjoy but my own darlng boy,
That's when he do return from the plains of Waterloo."
"If Willie Smith was the name of your hero of fame,
It was along with him I spent many a campaign;
Through both England and France we both marched together,
He was my loyal comrade while marching through Spain.
"Till at length by those Frenchmen we were so surrounded,
Like brave British soldiers we did them subdue;
We fought them for three days till at length we them defeated,
They are bold Napoleon's army on the plains of Waterloo.
"It being on the fourth day we ended our battle,
Which caused many a hero for to complain;
Their big guns they did roar, our cannons loud did rattle,
It was by a French soldier your true love was slain.
"As I passed by him I saw him lay bleeding,
I scarce had time for to bid him adieu;
In a faltering voice these words I heard him say:
'Here's adieu to lovely Nancy on the plains of Waterloo.' "
Her eyes they grew dim and her color it soon changed,
And her red rosy cheeks they became pale and wan;
And when I saw her in this sad situation,
I boldly advanced saying: "I am your man."
Saying, "Here is a ring that between us was broken,
In the midst of all danger it reminded me of you."
She flew into his arms soon as she saw the token,
Saying, "You are welcome back dear Willie from the plains of Waterloo."
Collected in 1951 from Michael Matthews of Duntara, NL, by Kenneth Peacock and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 3, pp.1014-1015, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.
A variant was also collected by MacEdward Leach and published as Plains Of Waterloo in Folk Ballads And Songs Of The Lower Labrador Coast by The National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.