William Shield (arr.)
(1748 - 1829)

Shield (arr.) : Tweed side : illustration

Tweed side
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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

What beauties does Flora disclose!
How sweet are her smiles upon Tweed!
Yet Mary's, still sweeter than those,
Both nature and fancy exceed.
No daisy, nor sweet blushing rose,
Not all the gay flow'rs of the field,
Not Tweed, gliding gently through those,
Such beauty and pleasure does yield.

The warblers are heard in the grove,
The linnet, the lark and the thrush,
The blackbird and sweet-cooing dove
With music enchant every bush.
Come, let us go forth to the mead;
Let us see how the primroses spring!
We'll lodge in some village on Tweed,
And love, while the feathered folk sing.

How does my love pass the long day?
Does Mary not tend a few sheep?
Do they never ceaselessly stray
While happily she lies asleep?
Should Tweed's murmurs lull her to rest,
Kind nature indulging my bliss,
To ease the soft pains of my breast
I'd steal an ambrosial kiss.

'Tis she does the virgin excel;
No beauty with her may compare;
Love's graces around her do dwell;
She's fairest where thousands are fair.
Say, charmer, where do thy flocks stray?
O, tell me at noon where they feed?
Shall I seek them on sweet-winding Tay,
Or the pleasanter banks of the Tweed?