1742
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Song.

The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews, and of his Friend Mr. Abraham Adams. Written in the Manenr of Cervantes, Author Don Quixote.

Henry Fielding


A pastoral ballad in six double-quatrain stanzas: "Ah! see, the dear Nymph o'er the Plain, | Comes smiling and tripping along, | A thousand Loves dance in her Train, | The Graces around her all throng." The lyric is sung by Joseph Andrews in chapter twelve of the second book; in the next room Fanny overhears the song and faints into the arms of Parson Adams (Joseph, were are told at the beginning of the novel, had a remarkable singing voice). No doubt Fielding introduced the song in emulation of the ballads penned by his "sister" Pamela in Richardson's novel.



Say, Chloe, where must the Swain stray
Who is by thy Beauties undone,
To wash their Remembrance away,
To what distant Lethe must run?
The Wretch who is sentenc'd to die,
May escape and leave Justice behind;
From his Country perhaps he may fly,
But O can he fly from his Mind!

O Rapture! unthought of before,
To be thus of Chloe possest;
Nor she, nor no Tyrant's hard Power,
Her Image can tear from my Breast.
But felt not Narcissus more Joy,
With his Eyes he beheld his lov'd Charms?
Yet what he beheld, the fond Boy
More eagerly wish'd in his Arms.

How can it thy dear Image be,
Which fills thus my Bosom with Woe?
Can aught bear Resemblance to thee,
Which Grief and not Joy can bestow?
This Counterfeit snatch from my Heart,
Ye Pow'rs, tho' with Torment I rave,
Tho' mortal will prove the fell Smart,
I then shall find rest in my Grave.

Ah! see, the dear Nymph o'er the Plain,
Comes smiling and tripping along,
A thousand Loves dance in her Train,
The Graces around her all throng.
To meet her soft Zephyrus flies,
And wafts all the Sweets from the Flow'rs,
Ah Rogue! whilst he kisses her Eyes,
More Sweets from her Breath he devours.

My Soul, whilst I gaze, is on fire,
But her Looks were so tender and kind,
My Hope almost reach'd my Desire,
And left lame Despair far behind.
Transported with Madness I flew,
And eagerly seiz'd on my Bliss;
Her Bosom but half she withdrew,
But half she refus'd my fond Kiss.

Advances like these made me bold,
I whisper'd her, Love, — we're alone,
The rest let Immortals unfold,
No Language can tell but their own.
Ah Chloe, expiring, I cry'd,
How long I thy Cruelty bore?
Ah! Strephon, she blushing reply'd,
You ne'er was so pressing before.

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