Thomas Arne
(1710 - 1778)

Arne : Thou soft flowing Avon (air) : illustration

Thou soft flowing Avon (air)
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From Garrick and Arne's Ode, first performed at the Shakespeare Jubilee in Stratford, 1769, and later re-staged in London. This Air proved the most popular and long-lasting of that work.
Lyrics: David Garrick

Thou soft flowing Avon, by thy silver stream,
Of things more than mortal thy Shakespeare would dream;
The fairies by moonlight dance round his green bed,
For hallow'd the turf is which pillow'd his head.

The love-stricken maiden, the sighing young swains,
Here rove without danger and sigh without pain;
The sweet bud of beauty no blights shall here dread,
For hallow'd the turf is which pillow'd his head.

Here youth shall be fam'd for their love and their truth,
Here smiling old-age feels the spirit of youth;
For the raptures of fancy here poets shall tread,
For hallow'd the turf is which pillow'd his head.

Flow on silver Avon, in song ever flow,
Be the swans on thy bosom still whiter than snow.
Ever full be thy stream, like his fame may it spread,
And the turf ever hallow'd, that pillow'd his head.