Stephen Paxton
(1734 - 1787)

Ah, sweetest Anna
(A.T.T.B. + reduction)
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The source of the words in this setting remains unidentified. The wearing of a green willow garland in mourning for a lost lover was well known in seventeenth century England.
Lyrics: Anon, probably the composer

Ah, sweetest Anna, why do tears
Drown roses on thy cheek?
Sorrow will beauty spoil, like years;
Then cease thy tears and speak.

He's gone, and willows round my brows
Shall twine their mournful leaves.
Shall Anna then wear willows,
Now her faithful William lives?

Then tear off the willows,
For see, o'er the billows
With streamers all flying,
Thy William advance.
Leave sighing and dying,
His colours are flying;
For laurels he wears
In defiance of France.