Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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REIGN OF CHARLES II. TO WILLIAM III.                              607
Of these the Wells at Islington (sometimes called the New Tunbridge Wells) seem to have attained the highest repute.
" In 1733," says Mr. George Daniel,." their Royal Highnesses the Princesses Amelia and Caroline frequented them in the summer time, for the pleasure of drinking the waters. They have furnished a subject for pamphlets, plays, songs, and medical treatises, by N. Ward, George Colman the elder, Bickham, Dr. Hugh Smith, &c. Nothing now remains of them but the original chalybeate spring, which is still preserved in an obscure nook." {Merrie England, ii. 31.)
Although the neighbourhood is now "poverty-stricken and squalid," even within the memory of Mr. Daniel " beautiful fea-gardens " encompassed the site.
The tune of New Wells is essentially vocal, and is probably that of some favorite song which was sung at the gardens. The name, however, gives no clue to the words, and I have not met with it under any other.
The following lines were written to the air by the late George Macfarren:—
Hark ! yon joyous bird, morning's light awakes him ;
Warbling, free and pure, up he mounts secure : Hark ! yon joyous bird—lo ! a shot o'ertakes him—
Such is life—be ours more calm and sure.
Taste this crystal stream, oft by pilgrims chosen, Born of summer show'rs, kiss'd by sweetest flow'rs :
Taste this crystal stream, purer still when frozen— Such is truth, my fair, and such be ours.

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