William Jackson (of Exeter)
(1730 - 1803)

Jackson (of Exeter) : Ye shepherds so cheerful and gay : illustration

Ye shepherds so cheerful and gay
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Twelve songs set to music by William Jackson of Exeter. Op. 4. London, c.1775.
Lyrics: William Shenstone

Ye shepherds, so cheerful and gay
Whose flocks never carelessly roam;
Should Corydon's happen to stray,
Ah! Lead the poor wanderers home.
Allow me to muse and to sigh
Nor talk of the change that you find;
None once was so watchful as I:
I've left my dear Phyllis behind.

Since Phyllis vouchsaf'd me a look
I never once dreamt of my vine:
May I lose both my pipe and my crook,
If I knew of a kid that was mine.
I priz'd ev'ry hour that went by
Beyond all that had pleas'd me before:
But now they are past, and I sigh
And I grieve that I priz'd them no more.

When forced the fair nymph to forego,
What anguish I felt at my heart!
Yet I thought but it might not be so,
'Twas with pain that she saw me depart.
She gazed as I slowly withdrew,
My path I could hardly discern;
So sweetly she bade me adieu,
I thought that she bade me return.

But why do I languish in vain,
Why wander thus pensively here?
Oh! why did I come from the plain,
Where I fed on the smiles of my dear?
They tell me my favourite maid,
The pride of the valley is flown:
Alas! where with her I have strayed,
I could wander with pleasure alone.