William Benson Earle
(1740 - 1796)

Earle : Cold winter, why art thou gone? : illustration

Cold winter, why art thou gone?
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Earle was an aristocrat and philanthropist who lived much of his life in the Close, Salisbury. He was a keen amateur musician who wrote several well-crafted glees.

The current item, harmonized and arranged as a glee by Earle, is based upon a song composed by Robert Hudson.
Lyrics: Anon

Cold winter, why art thou gone
With thy frost and soft snow in thy train?
The return of gay spring with the sun
To me can bring nothing but pain,
Since honour, still fatal to love,
Commands my kind hero away
In far distant climates to rove,
And to trust the false winds on the seas.

How cruel, alas, is the fate
Which unkind does our fortunes divide;
How cheerless and wretched a state,
Where every hope is denied.
Not music can soften my care,
Or pleasure my fancy delight,
When his voice sounds no more in my ear
And his person's no longer in sight.

No joy can I find in the fields,
The woods, or the trembling grove;
Since solitude sorrow but yields
To a heart that's sincerely in love.
But when the moon rises so bright
And shews her full orb in the stream,
Some relief it will be to my sight
That I view the same object with him.