Richard John Samuel Stevens
(1757 - 1837)

Who is Sylvia?
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Stevens' glee was incorporated, at the request of the producer, in John Kemble's production of Two Gentlemen of Verona, 1808. Stevens liked to track the reception of his glees, but on this occasion was unsuccessful: "The play of the Two Gentlemen of Verona was revived at the Covent Garden Theatre this evening....I begged the Rev. Wilfrid Clark to go to the theatre to see the play; thinking that I might be informed by him, how my music was received by the house. I fancy, that when he went into the theatre, he must have been stupidly drunk, for he candidly confessed to me the next morning that he was fast asleep, and really did not hear a note of it!!"
Lyrics: William Shakespeare

Who is Sylvia? what is she,
That all our swains commend her?
Holy, fair and wise is she;
The heavens such grace did lend her,
That she might admired be.

Is she kind as she is fair?
For beauty lives with kindness.
Love doth to her eyes repair,
To help him of his blindness;
And being helped, inhabits there.

Then to Sylvia let us sing,
That Sylvia is excelling;
She excels each mortal thing,
Upon the dull earth dwelling;
To her let us garlands bring.