Thomas Arne
(1710 - 1778)

Arne : The Fly : illustration

The Fly
(Song)
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"Moderniz'd from Chaucer and sung by Mr Lowe at Vauxhall."
Lyrics: Anon, probably the composer

From sweet bewitching tricks of love,
Young men your hearts secure,
Lest from the paths of sense you rove
In dotage premature.
Look at each lass through wisdom's glass,
Nor trust the naked eye:
Gallants beware, look sharp, take care,
The blind eat many a fly.


Not only on their hands and necks
The borrow'd white you'll find;
Some belles, when interest directs,
Can even paint the mind.
Joy in distress they can express,
Their every tear's a lie:
Gallants beware, look sharp, take care,
The blind eat many a fly.


There's not a spinster in the realm
But all mankind can cheat,
Down to the cottage from the helm,
The learn'd, the brave and great,
With lovely looks and golden hooks,
T'entangle as they try,
Gallants beware, look sharp, take care,
The blind eat many a fly.


Could we with ink the ocean fill,
Was earth of parchment made;
Was ev'ry single stick a quill,
Each man a scribe by trade;
To write the tricks of half the sex
Would suck the ocean dry:
Gallants beware, look sharp, take care,
The blind eat many a fly.