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Joy crowns our bowers! Philomel
Let trees dance,
THE PRAISE OF A COUNTRYMAN'S LIFE.
Joan CHALKHILL. From Walton's Angler, 1653.
Oh! the sweet contentment
The countryman doth find.
That quiet contemplation
Possesseth all my mind,
For courts are full of flattery,
As hath too ont been try'd ;
The city full of wantonness,
And both are full of pride;
But oh! the honest countryman
Speaks truly from his heart,
His pride is in his tillage,
His horses, and his cart;
Our clothing is good sheep-skins,
Grey russet for our wives ;
'Tis warmth, and not gay clothing,
That doth prolong our lives ;
The ploughman, though he labour hard,
Yet on the holy day,
No emperor so merrily
Does pass his time away ;
To recompense our tillage
The heavens afford us showers,
And for our sweet refreshments
The earth affords us bowers; Then, care away, and wend along with me.
The cuckoo and the nightingale
Full merrily do sing,
And with their pleasant roundelays
Bid welcome to the spring; Then, care away, and wend along with me.
This is not half the happiness
The countryman enjoys;
Though others think they have as much,
Yet he that says so, lies; Then, care away, and wend along with me.
CALORIS now thou art fled away,
and he alway, Sings nothing now but—Well-a-day!
His oaten pipe, that in thy praise
'Tis death for any now to say,
The May-pole where thy little feet
All that I ever heard him say,
Was Chloris, Chloris—Well-a-day!
Nicholas Rowe, born 1673, died 1718,
A shepherd forsaken was laid ;
A willow supported his head :
To his sighs with a sigh did reply, And the brook, in return to his pain,
Ran mournfully murmuring by. Alas! silly swain that I was,
Thus sadly complaining, he cried ; When first I beheld that fair face,
'Twere better by far I had died : She talk'd, and I bless'd her dear tongue;
When she smild, 'twas a pleasure too great; I listen’d and cry'd when she sung,
Was nightingale ever so sweet! How foolish was I to believe
She could doat on so lowly a clown, . Or that her fond heart would not grieve,
To forsake the fine folk of the town: To think that a beauty so gay,
So kind and so constant would prove, Or go
clad like our maidens in grey, Or live in a cottage ou love?
What though I have skill to complain,
Tho' the muses my temples have crown'd; What tho' when they hear my soft strain,
The virgins sit weeping around? Ah, Colin! thy hopes are in vain,
Thy pipe and thy laurel resign, Thy false one inclines to a swain,
Whose music is sweeter than thine.
All you, my companions so dear,
Who sorrow to see me betray'd,
Forbear to accuse the false maid.
'Tis in vain for my fortune to fly,
'Tis mine to be constant and die.
If while my hard fate I sustain,
In her breast any pity is found, Let her come with the nymphs of the plain,
And see me laid low in the ground: The last humble boon that I crave,
Is to shade me with cypress and yew And when she looks down on my grave
Let her own that her shepherd was true.
Then to her new love let her go,
And deck her in golden array; Be finest at every fine show,
And frolic it all the long day: While Colin, forgotten and gone,
No more shall be talked of or seen, Unless when beneath the pale moon,
His ghost shall glide over the green.
AS I WALKED FORTH ONE SUMMER'S DAY.
From PlayFORD'S “ Airs and Dialogues," 1676.
gay, A cool-retreating bower I spied, That flourished near the river's side;
Where oft in tears a maid would cry,
Did ever maiden love as I ?
And as she pull’d them, still cried she,
Alas, none ever lov'd like me!
Alas! alas! still sobbed she,
Alas! none ever lov'd like me!
Then down she laid, nor sigh'd nor spake,
THE SUN WAS SUNK BENEATH THE HILL,
Anonymous—but often attributed to John Gay.
The western clouds were lin'd with gold,
The flocks were pent within the fold,