1777
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

A Ballad sung at Ranelagh.

Public Advertiser (19 June 1777).

Anonymous


Three double quatrain stanzas titled "A Ballad sung at Ranelagh by Mr. Meredith. The Music composed by Mr. Bates". This pastoral ballad wittily takes the topic of rural leisure as its theme: "On Flora's soft Sopha together we sat, | And spent some long Hours in amorous Chat; | I told her I lov'd her, and I hop'd she lov'd too, | Then kiss'd her sweet Lips — I had nought else to do."



The Summer was over, my Flocks were all shorn,
My Meadows were mow'd, and I'd hous'd all my Corn,
Fair Phillida's Cottage was just in my View,
A wooing I went — I had nought else to do.
On Flora's soft Sopha together we sat,
And spent some long Hours in amorous Chat;
I told her I lov'd her, and I hop'd she lov'd too,
Then kiss'd her sweet Lips — I had nought else to do.

She hung down her Head and with Blushes reply'd
I'll love you, but first you must make me a Bride;
Without Hesitation I made her a Vow
To make her my Wife — I had not else to do.
To the Village in Quest of a Priest did we roam,
By Fortune's Decree the grave Don was at home;
I gave him a Fee to make one of us two,
He married us then — he had nought else to do.

E'er since we've been happy, with Peace and Content,
Nor tasted the Sorrows of those who repent;
Our Neighbours all round us we love, and 'tis true
Each other beside! — when we've nought else to do.
With Phoebus the Toil of the Day we begin,
I Shepherd my Flock, while she sits down to spin;
Our Cares thus domestic we'll arduous pursue,
And ever will love — when we've nought else to do.

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