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From Silent Shades "Bess of Bedlam" Z. 370

From Silent Shades "Bess of Bedlam"

From silent shades, and the Elysian groves,
Where sad departed spirits mourn their loves;
From crystal streams, and from that country where
Jove crowns the fields with flowers all the year,
Poor senseless Bess, cloth’d in her rags and folly,
Is come to cure her lovesick melancholy.
Bright Cynthia kept her revels late,
While Mab, the Fairy Queen, did dance,
And Oberon did sit in state
When Mars at Venus ran his lance.
In yonder cowslip lies my dear,
Entomb’d in liquid gems of dew;
Each day I’ll water it with a tear,
Its fading blossom to renew.
For since my love is dead and all my joys are gone,
Poor Bess for his sake,
A garland will make,
My music shall be a groan.
I’ll lay me down and die
Within some hollow tree,
The rav’n and cat,
The owl and bat,
Shall warble forth my elegy.
Did you not see my love as he pass’d by you?
His two flaming eyes, if he come nigh you,
They will scorch up your hearts?
Ladies, beware ye,
Lest he should dart a glance that may ensnare ye.
Hark! I hear old Charon bawl,
His boat he will no longer stay;
The Furies lash their whips and call,
‘Come, come away.’
Poor Bess will return to the place whence she came,
Since the world is so mad she can hope for no cure;
For love’s grown a bubble, a shadow, a name,
Which fools do admire and wise men endure.
Cold and hungry am I grown,
Ambrosia will I feed upon,
Drink nectar still and sing.
Who is content
Does all sorrow prevent,
And Bess in her straw,
Whilst free from the law,
In her thoughts is as great as a King.

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Henry Purcell (c. 10 September 1659 – 21 November 1695) was an English composer. It is said that he began composing at nine years old. As an adult, he became organist at Westminster Abbey, and later the Chapel Royal.

Information from Wikipedia. For the full article, read here.

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