Song VI., pp.253-254.

[Tea-Table Miscellany Contents]

MY days have been so wond’rous free, 

The little birds that fly, 

With careless ease, from tree to tree, 

Were but as blest as I. 

– 

Ask gliding waters, if a tear 

Of mine increas’d their stream; 

Or ask the flying gales, if e’er 

I lent a sigh to them. 

– 

But now my former days retire, 

And I’m by beauty caught: 

The tender chains of sweet desire 

Are fixt upon my thought. 

– 

An eager hope within my breast 

Does every doubt controul; 

And lovely Nancy stands confest 

The favourite of my soul. 

– 

Ye nightingales, ye twisting pines, 

Ye swains that haunt the grove, 

Ye gentle ecchoes, breezy winds, 

Ye close retreats of love; 

– 

With all of nature, all of art, 

Assist the dear design, 

O teach a young unpractis’d heart, 

To make her ever mine. 

– 

The very thought of change I hate, 

As much as of despair, 

And hardly cover to be great, 

Unless it be for her. 

– 

‘Tis true, the passion in my mind 

Is mixt with soft distress; 

Yet while the fair I love is kind, 

I cannot wish it less. 

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