Page images
PDF
EPUB

Ah! little bee how blest thy fate

Thy lot was joy divine,
E’en Kings would quit their royal state

To meet a death like thine.

[Our old collections of songs contain many versions of the above, in some the lady is called Selinda. The Editor thinks the present copy of the song is most preferable.]

WE ALL TO BEAUTY BOW.

We all to conquering beauty bow,

Its pleasing power admire;
But I ne'er knew a face till now

That could like yours inspire:
Now I may say I met with one

Amazes all mankind;
And, like men gazing on the sun,

With too much light am blind.
Soft, as the tender moving sighs,

When longing lovers meet,
Like the divining prophets, wise ;

Like new-blown roses, sweet ;
Modest, yet gay; reserv’d, yet free;

Each happy night a bride ;
A mien like awful majesty,

And yet no spark of pride.

The patriarch to win a wife,

Chaste, beautiful, and young,
Servd fourteen years a painful life,

And never thought it long :

Ah! were you to reward such care,

And life so long would stay,
Not fourteen, but four hundred years,

Would seem but as one day.

AN EXCUSE FOR DRINKING.

Upbraid me not, capricious fair,

With drinking to excess;
I should not want to drown despair,

Were your indifference less.

Love me, my dear, and you shall find,

When this excuse is gone,
That all my bliss, when Chloe's kind,

Is fixed on her alone.

The god of wine the victory

To beauty yields with joy ;
For Bacchus only drinks like me,

When Ariadne's coy.

TO THE BROOK.

To the brook and the willow that heard him complain, Poor Colin went weeping and told them his pain; Sweet stream, he cried, sadly I'll teach thee to flow, And thy waters shall mournfully run with my woe.

In sorrow and anguish my Mary now lies,
She counts the sad moments of Time as it flies ;
To the nymph, my heart's love, ye soft slumbers repair,
Spread your downy wings o'er her, and make her your

care.

Let me be left restless, my eyes never close,
So the sleep that I lose, gives my fair one repose,
Dear stream! if you chance by her pillow to creep,
Perhaps your soft murmurs may lull her asleep.
Oh if I am doom'd to be wretched indeed
And the loss of my Mary the fates have decreed :-
Believe me thou fair one-Oh Mary believe,
That I sigh for thy loss—and I live but to grieve.
Soft glide gentle brook-gentle streamlet soft glide-
While I lay me to die-on your flower painted side-
But swiftly flow on—and to Mary the fair
The love of poor Colin that's dying, 0 bear!

[The copy of this song is given from two or three versions contained in different collections. In many of the songs in this volume printed without any name, there is much prettiness and much ele. gance, but something of affectation runs through the whole of them and much inequality. From all parts, from all odd volumes, and from different manuscripts these songs found their way into our Anthologies, it is not improbable but that several of them are the compositions of the various collectors and compilers.

One would almost imagine that Burns had seen the above songwhen he wrote his beautifullyric in honour of Mrs. General Stewart:

"Flow gently sweet Afton among thy green braes.")

BELINDA.

Ah! bright Belinda, hither fly,

And such a light discover, As may the absent sun supply,

And chear the drooping lover.

Arise, my day, with speed arise,

And all my sorrows banish : Before the sun of thy bright eyes,

All gloomy terrors vanish.

No longer let me sigh in vain,

And curse the hoarded treasure: Why should you love to give us pain,

When you were made for pleasure ?

The petty powers of hell destroy ;

To save the pride of heaven :
Το you the first, if you prove coy;

If kind, the last is given.

The choice then sure's not hard to make,

Betwixt a good and evil : Which title had you rather take,

My goddess, or, my devil ?

'TIS NOT THE BRIGHTNESS OF THOSE EYES.

'Tis not the liquid brightness of those eyes,
That swim with pleasure and delight ;
Nor those fair heavenly arches which arise
O’er each of them to shade their light;
'Tis not that hair which plays with every wind,
And loves to wanton round thy face;
Now straying o'er thy forehead, now behind
Retiring with insidious grace.
'Tis not that lovely range of teeth, as white
As new shorn sheep, equal and fair ;
Nor even that gentle smile the heart's delight,
With which no smile could e'er compare ;
Tis not that chin so round, that neck so fine,
Those breasts that swell to meet my love;
That easy sloping waist, that form divine,
Nor ought below, nor ought above.

'Tis not the living colours over each,
By nature's finest pencil wrought,
To shame the fresh blown rose, and blooming peach,
And mock the happiest painter's thought :
But 'tis that gentle mind, that ardent love,
So kindly answering my desire;
That grace with which you look, and speak, and

move,
That thus have set my soul on fire.

« PreviousContinue »