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William Shenstone

(1714 - 1763 / England)

Song V. - On every tree, in every plain


Ah! ego non aliter tristes evincere morbos
Optarem, quam te sic quoque velle putem.

On every tree, in every plain,
I trace the jovial spring in vain;
A sickly langour veils mine eyes,
And fast my waning vigour flies.

Nor flowery plain, nor budding tree,
That smile on others, smile on me;
Mine eyes from death shall court repose,
Nor shed a tear before they close.

What bliss to me can seasons bring?
Or what the needless pride of spring?
The cypress bough, that suits the bier,
Retains its verdure all the year.

'Tis true, my vine, so fresh and fair,
Might claim awhile my wonted care;
My rural store some pleasure yield,
So white a flock, so green a field!

My friends, that each in kindness vie,
Might well expect one parting sigh;
Might well demand one tender tear;
For when was Damon insincere?

But ere I ask once more to view
Yon setting sun his race renew,
Inform me, Swains! my friends, declare,
Will pitying Delia join the prayer?

Submitted: Monday, April 19, 2010

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