Joseph Baildon
(c.1727 - 1774)

Oft, with wanton smiles and jeers
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From "A collection of glees and catches for three and four voices, As they are performed at the Noblemen and Gentlemen's Catch Club. Never before printed."
Lyrics: Anacreon (trans. Francis Fawkes)

Oft with wanton smiles and jeers
Women tell me I'm in years;
I, the mirror when I view,
Find, alas, they tell me true,
Find my wrinkled forehead bare,
and regret my falling hair.
White and few, alas, I find,
All that time has left behind.

But my hairs, if thus they fall,
If but few or none at all,
Asking not, I'll never share
Fruitless kmowledge, fruitless care.
This important truth I know,
If indeed in years I grow,
I much snatch what life can give,
Not to love is not to live.