James Oswald
(1710 - 1769)

Oswald : The Dustcart : illustration

The Dustcart
(T. + continuo)
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A mock-heroic cantata. "Sung at the New Theatre in the Haymarket, in the manner of the moderns".
Lyrics: Anon, probably the composer

As tinkering Tom the streets his trade did ply, he saw his lovely Sylvia passing by,
In dustcart high advanced the nymph was placed, with the rich cinders round her lovely waist.
Tom with uplifted hands th'occasion blessed and thus, in soothing strains, the maid addressed:
"O Sylvia while you drive your cart to pick up dust you steal our hearts
That mine is gone alas is true, and dwells among the dust with you.
O lovely Sylvia, ease my pain, give me the heart you stole again."
Sylvia, advanced above the rabble rout, exulting rolled her sparkling eyes about,
She heaved her swelling breast, as black as sloe, and looked disdain on little folks below.
To Tom she nodded as the cart drew on and then, resolved to speak she cried: "Stop, John.
Shall I, who ride above the rest, be by a paltry crowd oppressed?
Ambition now my soul doth fire, the youths shall languish and admire,
And every girl with anxious heart shall long to ride in my dustcart."