A number of related laments share the symbolism of thyme as virginity, the rose as true love, the willow as false love, and so on, The Seeds of Love being perhaps the best-known. This version is from Joseph Taylor.
Once I had a sprig of thyme;
It prospered by night and by day,
Till a false young man came a-courting to me,
And he stole all my thyme away.
The gardener was standing by.
I asked him to choose for me;
He chose me the violet, aye, the lily and the pink,
But I really did refuse all three.
For the violet I did not like ,
Because it fades so soon,
The lily and the pink I do really overthink,
And I vowed I would wait till June.
For in June there is the red and rosy bud,
And that is the flower for me,
I pulled and I plucked at that red and rosy bud,
Till I gained the willow tree.
But thyme it is the prettiest thing,
And thyme it will prove kind,
And thyme it'll bring all things to an end,
And so does my thyme go on.
Well, it's very nice a-drinking ale,
And it's nice to have a drop of wine,
Oh, but I like sitting by that young man's side,
That has gained this heart of mine.