"How blest has my life been, what joys have I known, since wedlock's soft bondage made Jessie my own." The singer looks fondly back on life and children. Though his wife is growing old, he finds happiness at home and tells others they should do the same.
Happy Marriage, The Complete text(s) *** A *** From James Johnson, "The Scots Musical Museum," Volume I, #19, p. 20. As found in the 1853 edition (punctuation is somewhat uncertain, given the state of the facsimile). The version collected by Sam Henry is similar but shorter, consisting of seven half verses, roughly 1A+2A, 2B+4A, 4B+5A+5B. How blest has my time been! what joys have I known Since wedlock's soft bondage made Jessy my own! So joyful my heart is, so easy my chain, That freedom is tasteless, and roving a pain. Thro' walks green with woodbines, as often we stray, Around us our boys and girls frolic and play: How pleasing their sport is! the wanton ones see, And borrow their looks from my Jessy and me. To try her sweet temper, oft-times I am seen, In revels all day with the nymphs on the green: Tho' painful my absence, my doubts she beguiles, And meets me at night with complacence and smiles. What tho' on her cheeks the rose loses its hue, Her wit and good humour bloom all the year thro'; Time still, as he flies, adds increase to her truth, And gives to her mind what he steals from her youth. Ye shepherds so gay, who make love to ensnare, And cheat, with false vows, the too credulous Fair; In search of true pleasure, how vainly you roam! To hold it for life, you must find it at home.