William Jackson (of Exeter)
(1730 - 1803)

Jackson (of Exeter) : My banks they are furnished with bees : illustration

My banks they are furnished with bees
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Twelve songs set to music by William Jackson of Exeter. Op. 4. London, c.1775.
Lyrics: William Shenstone

My banks they are furnished with bees,
Whose murmurs invite one to sleep.
My grottoes are shaded with trees
And my hills are white over with sheep.
I seldom have met with a loss,
Such health do my fountains bestow;
My fountains all bordered with moss,
Where the harebells and violets grow.

One would think she might like to retire
To the bow'r I had labour'd to rear;
Not a shrub that I heard her admire,
But I hasted and planted it there.
O how sudden the jessamine strove
With the lilac to render it gay;
Already it calls for my love,
To prune the wild branches away.

I have found out a gift for my fair;
I have found where the woodpigeons breed;
But let me that plunder forbear,
She will say 'twas a barbarous deed!
For he ne'er could be true she averred
Who could rob a poor bird of its young;
And I loved her the more when I heard
Such tenderness fall from her tongue.

Can a bosom so gentle remain
Unmov'd when her Corydon sighs?
Will a nymph that is fond of the plain
These plains and this valley despise?
Dear regions of silence and shade,
Soft scenes of contentment and ease,
Where I could have pleasingly stray'd,
If nought in her absence could please.