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The Song Book 139
I thought she might like to retire
To the grove I had labour'd to rear; For whatever I heard her admire,
I hasten'd and planted it there. Her voice such a pleasure conveys,
So much I her accents adore, Let her speak, and whatever she says,
I'm sure still to love her the more.
And now, ere I haste to the plain,
Come, shepherds, and talk of her ways: I could lay down my life for the swain
That would sing me a song in her praise. While he sings may the maids of the town
Come flocking and listen awhile; Nor on him let Hebe once frown, —
But I cannot allow her to smile.
To see, when my charmer goes by,
Some hermit peep out of his cell; How he thinks of his youth with a sigh,
How fondly he wishes her well. On him she may smile if she please,
'Twill warm the cold bosom of age ; But cease, gentle Hebe, oh ! cease,—
Such softness will ruin the sage.
I've stole from no flow'rets that grow
To paint the dear charms I approve, For what can a blossom bestow,
So sweet, so delightful, as love ? I sing in a rustical way,
A shepherd and one of the throng ; Yet, Hebe approves of my lay;—
Go poets, and envy my song.
The Words by Shenstone. The Tune by Arne.