Sounds as though many folks have used this old tune to carry their various messages and feelings. I think the "original," if there can be such a thing, had only these four lines:
Rose, rose, rose, rose,
Shall I ever see thee red?
Aye, marry, that thou wilt
If thou but stay!
which gives it a totally different meaning, having nothing to do with being "wed" (suggested by the word "marry" in the second line which means "certainly," or,"to be sure," in this case. What the song says (to me) is, If you have patience, what you wish will come to pass.
But it IS a tune that we love to borrow- my "Peace Round" is set to (almost) this tune. It is now in the Friends Hymnal, so you can check it out! Jean
P.S. Speeded up, it's also the melody for the round, "Hey Ho, Nobody Home."