William Shield (arr.)
(1748 - 1829)

Shield (arr.) : The Braes of Ballenden : illustration

The Braes of Ballenden
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One of Shield's arrangements of Scottish songs. "Scots airs" were popular throughout society in the 1790s. The collection in which this item appeared, produced by the printer to the king, had in its subscription list figures as diverse as (e.g.) Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire and William Blake.
Lyrics: Robert Crawford

Beneath a green shade, a lovely young swain
One evening reclined to discover his pain;
So sad yet so sweetly he warbled his woe;
The wind ceased to breathe and the fountains to flow;
Rude winds, with compassion, could hear him complain,
Yet Chloe, less gentle, was deaf to his strain.

How happy, he cried, my moments once flew,
Ere Chloe's bright charms first flashed in my view.
These eyes then with pleasure the dawn could survey,
Nor smiled the fair morning more cheerful than they:
Now scenes of distress please only my sight;
I'm tortured in pleasure, and languish in light.

Through changes, in vain, relief I pursue,
All, all but conspire my griefs to renew;
From sunshine to zephyrs and shades we repair,
To sunshine we fly from too piercing an air;
But love's ardent fever burns always the same,
No winter can cool it, no summer inflame.

But see, the pale moon, all clouded, retires,
The breezes grow cool: not Strephon's desires;
I fly from the dangers of tempest and wind,
Yet nourish the madness that preys on my mind.
Ah, wretch! How can life thus merit thy care,
Since lengthening moments but lengthens despair.