Benjamin Cooke
(1734 - 1793)

Cooke : To Cupid on Valentine's Day : illustration

To Cupid on Valentine's Day
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From "A collection of glees, catches and canons.... composed by Benjamin Cooke, organist of Westminster Abbey". London, c.1780. Mawkish to the modern mind, Parrott's lyrics were popular in their day. Printed in Dodsley's popular "Collection of Poems" (1748 and later editions), they were sufficiently well known to be quoted in "The tour of Dr. Syntax in search of the picturesque" (1812).
Lyrics: Rev'd. Charles Parrott

Come thou rosy dimpled boy, source of ev'ry heart-felt joy;
Leave the blissful bow'rs awhile, Paphos and the Cyprian isle;
Visit Britain's rocky shore, Britons too thy pow'r adore;
Britons hardy, bold and free own thy laws and yield to thee.
Source of ev'ry heart-felt joy, come thou rosy dimpled boy.

Haste to Sylvia, haste away, this is thine and Hymen's day;
Bid her thy soft bondage wear; bid her for love's rites prepare,
Let the nymphs, with many a flow'r, deck the sacred nuptial bow';.
Thither lead the lovely fair, and let Hymen too be there.
This is thine and Hymen's day; haste to Sylvia, haste away.

Only while we love we live; love alone can pleasure give.
Pomp and pow'r and tinsel state, those false pageants of the great,
Crowns and sceptres, envied things and the pride of eastern kings,
Are but childish empty toys when compared to love's sweet joys;
Love alone can pleasure give, only while we love we live.