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.