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I seldom have met with a loss,
Such health do my fountains bestow : My fountains all border'd with moss,
Where the hare-bells and violets grow.
Not a pine in my grove is there seen,
But with tendrils of woodbine is bound: Not a beech's more beautiful green,
But a sweet-brier entwines it around. Not my fields, in the prime of the year,
More charms than my cattle unfold; Not a brook that is limpid and clear,
But it glitters with fishes of gold.
One would think she might like to retire
To the bower I have labour'd to rear; Not a shrub that I heard her admire,
But I hasted and planted it there, O how sudden the jessamine strove
With the lilac to render it gay! Already it calls for my love,
To prune the wild branches away.
From the plains, from the woodlands and groves,
What strains of wild melody flow!
From thickets of roses that blow!
Each bird shall harmoniously join
As— she may not be fond to resign.
I have found out a gift for my fair ;
I have found where the wood-pigeons breed: But let me that plunder forbear,
She will say 't was a barbarous deed. For he ne'er could be true, she averr'd,
Who would rob a poor bird of its young: And I loy'd her the more when I heard
Such tenderness fall from her tongue.
I have heard her with sweetness unfold
How that pity was due to-a dove: That it ever attended the bold;
And she call'd it the sister of love.
So much I her accents adore,
Methinks I should love her the more.
Can a bosom so gentle remain
Unmov'd when her Corydon sighs ? Will a nymph that is fond of the plain,
These plains and this valley despise ? Dear regions of silence and shade !
Soft scenes of contentment and ease! Where I could have pleasingly stray'd,
If aught, in her absence, could please.
But where does my Phyllida Štray ?
And where are her grots and her bowers ? Are the groves and the valleys as gay,
And the shepherds as gentle as ours ?
The groves may perhaps be as fair,
And the face of the valleys as fine; The swains may in manners compare,
But their love is not equal to mine.
Why term it a folly to grieve?
She 's fairer than you can believe.
With her wit she engages the free; With her modesty pleases the grave;
She is every way pleasing to me.
O you that have been of her train,
Come and join in my amorous lays ;
That will sing but a song in her praise. When he sings, may the nymphs of the town
Come trooping, and listen the while ; Nay on him let not Phyllida frown;
But I cannot allow her to smile.
For when Paridel tries in the dance
Any favour with Phyllis to find, O how, with one trivial glance,
Might she ruin the peace of my mind ! In ringlets he dresses his hair,
And his crook is bestudded around; And his pipe - oh my Phyllis, beware
Of a magic there is in the sound.
'T is his with mock passion to glow,
'Tis his in smooth tales to unfold, How her face is as bright as the snow,
And her bosom, be sure, is as cold. How the nightingales labour the strain,
With the notes of his charmer to vie; How they vary their accents in vain,
Repine at her triumphs, and die.
To the grove or the garden he strays,
And pillages every sweet;
He throws it at Phyllis's feet.
More sweet than the jessamine's flower ! What are pinks in a morn to compare ?
What is eglantine after a shower ?
“ Then the lily no longer is white;
The rose is depriv’d of its bloom ; Then the violets die with despite,
And the woodbines give up their perfume." Thus glide the soft numbers along,
And he fancies no shepherd his peer ; - Yet I never should envy the song, Were not Phyllis to lend it an ear.
Let his crook be with hyacinths bound,
So Phyllis the trophy despise:
So they shine not in Phyllis's eyes.
The language that flows from the heart,
Is a stranger to Paridel's tongue; - Yet may she beware of his art, Or sure I must envy the song.
Ye shepherds, give ear to my lay,
And take no more heed of my sheep; They have nothing to do but to stray ;
I have nothing to do but to weep. Yet do not my folly reprove;
She was fair -- and my passion begun; She smil'd- and I could not but love;
She is faithless -- and I am undone.
Perhaps I was void of all thought :
Perhaps it was plain to foresee, That a nymph so complete would be sought,
By a swain more engaging than me.
It banishes wisdom the while;
Seems for ever adorn'd with a smile.
She is faithless, and I am undone ;
Ye that witness the woes I endure, Let reason instruct you to shun
What it cannot instruct you to cure. Beware how you loiter in vain
Amid nymphs of a higher degree : It is not for me to explain
How fair, and how fickle they be.