James Oswald
(1710 - 1769)

Oswald : The Wheelbarrow : illustration

The Wheelbarrow
(T. + continuo)
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"The WHEEL BARROW a favourite CANTATA sung at the publick Gardens. Set by Mr Oswald. Printed for the Author and sold at his Musick-Shop in St Martin's Church Yard." A mock-heroic cantata, companion piece to "The Dustcart".
Lyrics: Anon, probably the composer

As porter Will along St Paul's did move, depressed by weighty load, but more by love,
By chance the fair Cerissa there he found, crying her fine heart cherries round and sound.
Will joyous instant pitched then straight caressed her, and leaning o'er her barrow thus addressed her:
"Thy lips are cherries sweeter far than those which in the barrow are,
With such a store of charms 'tis well you may have stolen hearts to sell.
Mine, dear Cerissa, too you know you stole it from me long ago,
And now I stop to ask of thee to give it back, or marry me."
Cerissa, archly leering as he spoke, while all the cherry blushed upon her cheek,
The mellowest fruit unnoticed culled apace, and sent like thunder at his doleful face,
Then grasped her barrow, trundled soft along, and looking round at Will, triumphant sung:
"Shall I, possessed of all these charms, sleep nightly in a porter's arms?
M'ambitious soul detests such scum and sighs for conquests yet to come.
Fair youths my sovereign power shall feel, ten thousand hearts I'll daily steal,
And beauteous nymphs shall envious see crowned heads and dukes submit to me."