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The LiederNet Archive
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Cupid's counsel

Language: English after the English

Sylvia the fair, in the bloom of fifteen,
Was a trifle perplexed as she stepped o’er the green,
Just a trifle uncertain, and somewhat oppressed
By the fluttering beats of the heart in her breast.
For how could she choose ‘mid the lads that were there,
All awaiting to ply her with compliments rare,
   All cajoling, bepraising, [/] admiring, imploring,
   Protesting, confessing, [/] beseeching, adoring,
   Their fondness for her to declare.

“Ah!” she cried, “ah! tell me how shall a maid
Know the true from the false with no soul to her aid!
Would that Whig or Tory, or Trimmer, at least,
Would that Protestant parson or Catholic priest
Might instruct a young lass to develop a flair
For the one who sincerely his love doth declare;
   When cajoling, bepraising, [/] admiring, imploring,
   Protesting, confessing, [/] beseeching, adoring,
   All ply her with compliments rare.

Cupid in shape of a swain did appear.
He saw her perplexed and he said, drawing near;
“Your heart, if you listen, will tell you, my dear,
Who’s sincere in the speeches he pours in your ear.”
Then her heart the one found, amid all of them there,
Who with sighs and endearments were filling the air,
   All cajoling, bepraising, [/] admiring, imploring,
   Protesting, confessing, [/] beseeching, adoring,
   To whom she her love could declare.

Note: Line splits have been based on deliberately capitalized words in Josten's score. Bracketed slashes denote where the line could be split to align better with Dryden's original structure.

Submitted by Garrett Medlock [Guest Editor]


Based on
  • a text in English by John Dryden (1631 - 1700), "Song"
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Seymour Barab. Go to the text.

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Text added to the website: 2019-04-09.
Last modified: 2019-04-09 19:30:59
Line count: 27
Word count: 219

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