The Girl I Left Behind Me
trad., lyrics printed 1791, Dublin.

The hours sad I left a maid
A lingering farewell taking
Whose sighs and tears my steps delayed
I thought her heart was breaking
In hurried words her name I blest
I breathed the vows that bind me
And to my heart in anguish pressed
The girl I left behind me

Then to the east we bore away
To win a name in story
And there where dawns the sun of day
There dawned our sun of glory
The place in my sight
When in the host assigned me
I shared the glory of that fight
Sweet girl I left behind me

Though many a name our banner bore
Of former deeds of daring
But they were of the day of yore
In which we had no sharing
But now our laurels freshly won
With the old one shall entwine me
Singing worthy of our size each son
Sweet girl I left behind me

The hope of final victory
Within my bosom burning
Is mingling with sweet thoughts of thee
And of my fond returning
But should I ne'er return again
Still with thy love i'll bind me
Dishonor's breath shall never stain
The name I leave behind me

The tune is the famous song you generally hear played on a fife concerning any Revolutionary War pic, especially in cartoons. It is thought to go back as far as the time of Queen Elizabeth I. It was particularly popular in America, and is still well known.

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