James Oswald
(1710 - 1769)

That Stella quits the wintry plain
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Pub. 1758, titled Advice to Colin. Written for performance at Ranelagh pleasure gardens and sung by Catherine (Kitty) Fourmantel.

The text first appeared in The Gentleman's Magazine, December 1757; any attribution to Esther Johnson (Jonathan Swift's Stella) is tenuous.
Lyrics: "By a lady"

That Stella quits the wint'ry plain,
Forbear, fond youth to mourn;
The leafless tree will bloom again
And smile at Spring's return.
Can duty justify a choice?
Her duteous choice approve;
And let at last her parting voice
Still seem the voice of love.

By absence, bliss awhile delay'd
With brighter flames will burn;
As Sol, to distant climes convey'd,
More welcome his return.
Hence let no fear your breast invade,
By hope each hour improve;
Be constant to the vows you've made,
Then doubt not Stella's love.