John Danby
(c.1757 - 1798)

O once I took pleasure to stray
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This work, Danby : O once I took pleasure to stray : scoreid 148195, as published by notAmos Performing Editions, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. All relevant attributions should state its URL as Permissions beyond the scope of this licence may be available at
Published in Danby's Second Collection of Catches, Canons and Glees, 1789.
Lyrics: Anon

O once I took pleasure to stray,
To view the gay bloom on the fields,
The blossom that swells on the spray,
And sweets that the jessamine yields;
But meadows that charm'd me before,
When Chloe my fair was unknown,
And flocks can give pleasure no more;
Palemon must tend them alone.

Down yonder green meadows so gay,
Where Glotta runs silently by,
The echoes have answered my lay
And loaded the gales with my sigh.
Where lovers oft wander'd to hear
Sweet Philomel sing from the tree,
How oft have I griev'd with a tear
That Chloe unkind is to me.

The brook where she swore to be mine,
Where ev'ning oft found us alone,
By its margin I often recline
And think on the hours that are gone.
Those hours that pass'd jocund away,
When bliss and contentment I knew,
I wasted in innocent play,
Nor thought with what swiftness they flew.

My cell I'd confine to the grove,
Could nature but conquer my pain;
While ah, the fair theme of my love
Ne'er harbours a thought of her swain.
But 'tis not the bloom of the fields,
Nor songster that chirps from the spray,
Nor sweets that the jessamine yields,
Can please when my fair is away.