A Ballad

Upon the plain there liv’d a swain
A Flock his whole employ
Unknown loves cares & all its snares
To damp his humble joy
Industry toils while Fortune smiles
To bless him with increase
Contentment made his humble trade
A Scene of Health & Peace

But Cupid sly whose jealous eye
Envied his happiness
With pointed darts & subtle arts
Resolved on his distress
Tho’ first in vain he Worked his brain
But practised in deceit
Fresh schemes & plans where nigh at hand
& some was sure to hit

In fatal hour he proved his power
A Shepherds form he ‘tain
With hook & song he hums along
& thus acosts the swain
Go friend he cried to yonder side
The hedge that bounds the plain
For there a lamb has lost his dam
& calls for help in vain

He instant starts his tender heart
O’erlooks the subtle snare
The swain’s beguiled pleased Cupid smiled
Fair Florimel was there
The Rosys red her cheeks bespread
Her bosom lily white
To view her charms each bosom warms
Enraptured at the sight

Her heaving breast her slender waist
Her shape genteel & tall
Her charms divine Unrivaled shine
Alike confessed by all
Beneath the shade the lovely maid
Was sheltered from the sun
O luckless swain go fly the plain
Or stay & be undone

For ah t’was proved by them that loved
She had a scornful eye
Her pride was vain no way to gain
Her pity but to dye
—Stretched on the Green—her beauty seen
To all advantage there
To meet the breeze that fanned the trees
Her snowy breast was bare

She meets his view, Sweet Peace adieu!
And Pleasures known before
He sighs—Approves—Admires & loves
His heart's his own no more

Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery (1820)
Recorded in 2009 by David Rowe as 'Cupid Sly'

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