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To beds of state go balmy sleep!
('Tis where you've seldom been,) May's vigil while the shepherds keep
With Kate of Aberdeen.
Upon the green the virgins wait,
In rosy chaplets gay,
And give the promis'd May.
The promis'd May, when seen,
As Kate of Aberdeen!
Strike up the tabor's boldest notes,
We'll rouse the nodding grove;
And hail the maid I love:
He quits the tufted green ;
'Tis Kate of Aberdeen !
Where midnight fairies rove,
Or tune the reed to love :
She claims a virgin queen ;
“ 'Tis Kate of Aberdeen!”
[The life of John Cunningham, the author of this beautiful song, was one of disappointment and misery.]
The gentle swan with graceful pride
Her glossy plumage laves,
Divides the whispering waves :
Sweet to the bird must be !
As Delia is to me.
A parent bird, in plaintive mood,
On yonder fruit-tree sung,
That held her callow young :
The genial brood must be ;
As Delia is to me.
The roses that my brow surround
Were natives of the dale ;
Before their sweets grew pale !
If luckless torn from thee;
My Delia is to me.
Two doves I found, like new-fall'n snow,
So white the beauteous pair !
They're like her bosom fair!
My secret wish she'll see ;
May Delia share with me.
No longer, Daphne, I admire
The graces in thine eyes ; Continued coyness kills desire,
And famish'd passion dies. Three tedious years I've sigh'd in vain,
Nor could my vows prevail ; With all the rigours of disdain
You scorn'd my amorous tale.
When Celia cry'd, ‘ How senseless she,
That has such vows refus’d;
It had been kinder us'd.
Because a woman's coy;
A thousand will enjoy.'
Such charming words, so void of art,
Surprising rapture gave;
While blest without restraint, In the sweet calendar of love
My Celia stands—a saint.
Oh let me grow unto those lips,
To them I could for ever clingO let me revel on those banks
And rob the incense of their spring.
Oh let not those fair sculptur'd hands,
Press so to end this dream of bliss, I cannot leave soft pleasure's brink
And ne'er can take a parting kiss.
The bee that sucks the mossy rose,
May soon extract its every sweetBut I may live a life out here
And still increasing joys may greet.
O then my love think not to end
This link of happy pure delight, But let me cling unto those lips,
And woo where bees themselves would light. THE LASS OF COCKERTON.
Tune, “ Low down in the broom."
'Twas on a summer's evening,
As I a roving went,
That was a milking sent.
Divinely fair she shone;
I found was Cockerton.
On this blooming country maid,
Each graceful charm survey'd.
And still I thought upon
In the lass of Cockerton.
An artless lover's prayer,
And scorn each other care.
Her love to share alone,
With the lass of Cockerton. [From Ritson's " Bishopric Garland, or Durham Minstrel, being a choice collection of excellent Songs, relating to the above county," 1784. The varions publications of Ritson's referring to particular districts were collected into one volume in 1810, by Mr. Haslewood.]