Nancy: a Song

NANCY. A SONG

1
YOU ask me, dear Nancy, what makes me presume
That you cherish a secret affection for me?
When we see the Flow’rs bud, don’t we look for the Bloom?
Then, sweetest, attend, while I answer to thee.
2
When we Young Men with pastimes the Twilight beguile, 5
I watch your plump cheek till it dimples with joy:
And observe, that whatever occasions the smile,
You give me a glance; but provokingly coy.
3
Last Month, when wild Strawberries pluckt in the Grove,
Like beads on the tall seeded grass you had strung; 10
You gave me the choicest; I hop’d ’twas for Love;
And I told you my hopes while the Nightingale sung.
4
Remember the Viper:—’twas close at your feet;
How you started, and threw yourself into my arms;
Not a Strawberry there was so ripe nor so sweet 15
As the lips which I kiss’d to subdue your alarms.
5
As I pull’d down the clusters of Nuts for my Fair,
What a blow I receiv’d from a strong bending bough;
Though Lucy and other gay lasses were there,
Not one of them show’d such compassion as you, 20
6
And was it compassion?—by Heaven ’twas more!
A telltale betrays you;—that blush on your cheek.
Then come, dearest Maid, all your trifling give o’er,
And whisper what Candour will teach you to speak.
7
Can you stain my fair Honour with one broken vow? 25
Can you say that I’ve ever occasion’d a pain?
On Truth’s honest base let your tenderness grow:
I swear to be faithful, again and again. [1] 

Notes

[1] [1st edn, 1st state adds note:] Simply pleasing. C. L.] omitted in 1st edn, 2nd state and later edns BACK

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