Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

Ancient Songs, Ballads, & Dance Tunes, Sheet Music & Lyrics - online book

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312                                  ENGLISH SONG AND BALLAD MUSIC.
Th' earth's but a point of the world, and a man Is but a point of the earth's compared centre: Shall then the point of a point be so vain, As to triumph in-a silly point's adventure ?
All is hazard that we have, - Here is nothing biding;
Days of pleasure are as streams
Through fair meadows gliding.
Weal or woe, time doth go,
Time hath no returning ;
Secret Fates guide our states
Both in mirth and mourning.
What if the world, with a lure of its wealth, liaise thy degree to great place of high ad­vancing ; May not the world, by a check of that wealth, Bring thee again to as low despised changing ? While the sun of wealth doth shine Thou shalt have friends plenty ; But, come want, they repine, Not one abides of twenty. Wealth (and friends), holds and ends, As thy fortunes rise and fall: Up and down, smile and frown, Certain is no state at all.
What if a smile, or a beck, or a look, Feed thy fond thoughts with many vain con­ceivings : May not that smile, or that heck, or that look, Tell thee as well they are all but false deceivings?
Why should beauty be so proud,
In things of no surmounting?
All her wealth is but a shroud,
Nothing of accounting.
Then in this there's no bliss,
Which is vain and idle,
Beauty's flow'rs have their hours,
Time doth hold the bridle.
What if a grip, or a strain, or a fit, [sickness : Pinch thee with pain of the feeling pangs of May not that grip, or that strain, or that fit, Shew thee the form of thine own true perfect likeness ?
Health is but a glance of joy,
Subject to all changes ;
Mirth is but a silly toy,
Which mishap estranges.
Tell me, then, silly man,
Why art thou so weak of wit,
As to be in jeopardy,
When thou mayst in quiet sit?
This tune has attained a long-enduring popularity. It is" to be found in every edition of The Dancing Master, as -well as in many other publications, and is commonly known at the present day.
The name of TJie Hemp-dresser, or TJie London Gentlewoman, is derived from an old song -which was translated into Latin (together with Olievy Qhace and many others) by Henry Bold, and published, after his death, in " Latine Songs -with their English," 1685.
One of D'Urfey's songs, commencing, " The sun had loos'd his weary team," was written to this air. It is printed, with music, in his third book of songs, 1685 ; in Playford's third book of " Choice Ayres and Songs; " and in vol. i. of all the editions of Pills to purge Melancholy. In the first, it is entitled "A new song set to a pretty country dance, called The, Hemp-dresser:" in the second, it .has the further prefix of " The Winchester .Christening; The Sequel of the Winchester Wedding. A new song," &c.
In The Beggars' Opera, 1728 ; The Court Legacy, 1733; The Sturdy Beggars, 1733; and The Rival Milliners, 1737, the tune is named " The sun had loos'd his weary team," from D'Urfey's song. In other ballad-operas, such as Penelope, 1728; and Love and Revenge, or The Vintner ouhvitted, n.d., it takes the name of one beginning, " Jone stoop'd down." Burns also wrote a song to it—" The Deil's awa wi' the Exciseman."

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III