Thomas Billington (arr.)
(1754 - ?1832)

By a murmuring stream a fair shepherdess lay
(S.S.B. (or T.T.B.))
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Billington issued two sets of "glees selected from the Scotch songs" in the late 1780s, to satisfy two contemporary enthusiasms: that for mixed sex social music, and that for all things North-British. The current arrangement comes from the second set.

These glees were selected from a repertoire of well-known Scottish songs that had been anthologised in the previous seventy years. Verses that are not underlaid were not included by Billington, and have been imported from external sources.
Lyrics: Allan Ramsay

By a murmuring stream a fair shepherdess lay,
Be so kind, O ye nymphs, I oft heard her say,
Tell Strephon I die, if he passes this way,
And love is the cause of my mourning.
Fair shepherds, that tell me of beauty and charms,
Deceive me, for Strephon's cold heart never warms,
Yet bring me this Strephon, I'll die in his arms,
O Strephon, the cause of my mourning.
But first said she, ley me go down to the shades below,
E'er ye let Strephon know that I have loved him so;
Then on my pale cheek no blushes will show
That love is the cause of my mourning.

Her eyes were scarce closed when Strephon came by;
He thought she'd been sleeping and softly drew nigh;
But finding her breathless, O heavens! did he cry,
Ah, Chloris, the cause of my mourning.
Restore me, my Chloris, ye nymphs use your art.
They, sighing, replied 'Twas yourself shot the dart
That wounded the tender young shepherdess' heart,
And killed the poor Chloris with mourning.
Ah then, is Chloris dead, wounded by me? he said;
I'll follow thee, chaste maid, down to the silent shade.
Then on her cold, snowy breast leaning his head,
Expired the poor Strephon with mourning.