All Things Were Quite Silent

This is a lover’s lament written, by American Gene Glickman (b 1934), about a time (Great Britain in the 18th century) when men were frequently pressed into the navy with no recourse, and were often gone from their homes and families for years, or forever. Recorded by Shirley Collins, Steeleye Span and others.

All Things Were Quite Silent

All things are quite silent, each mortal at rest,
When me and my love got snug in one nest,
When a bold set of ruffians they entered our cave,
And they forced my dear jewel to plough the salt wave.

I begged hard for my sailor as though I begged for life.
They'd not listen to me although a fond wife,
Saying: "The king he wants sailors, to the sea he must go,"
And they've left me lamenting in sorrow and woe.

Through green fields and meadows we ofttimes did walk,
And sweet conversation of love we have talked,
With the birds in the woodland so sweetly did sing,
And the lovely thrushes' voices made the valleys to ring.

Although I'm forsaken I won't be cast down.
Who knows but my sailor may once more return?
And will make me amends For all trouble and strife,
And my true love and I might live happy for life.