Mudcat Café message #2959211 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #131251   Message #2959211
Posted By: Matthew Edwards
05-Aug-10 - 10:29 PM
Thread Name: Shepherd of the Downs (Copper Family)
Subject: RE: Shepherd of the Downs
Finally here's a quite extraordinary broadside variant with lots of extra verses from the London printer Larkin How who was active in Petticoat Lane between 1741 and 1762. This can be seen in the Bodleian Ballads Catalogue under the title The Contented Lovers, or, a pleasant courtship between a shepherd and a nymph. I haven't been able to decipher some of the words.

^^ The Contented LOVERS
or a
Pleasant Courtship, between a SHEPHERD and a NYMPH

Shepherd Adonis being weary of his sport,
Return'd to the Woods where he us'd to resort,
He let fall his Crook, and he laid himself down
He envy'd no Monarch, nor he wished for no Crown.

He drank of the cold Brooks, eat the fruit of the Trees,
Enjoying himself, from all care was he free;
He valued no Nymph, was she ever so fair,
No Pride, no Ambition, no, likewise no Care.

But as it fell out in one Evening so clear,
A charming sweet Voice he chanc'd for to hear,
He stood like a stone, not one Foot could he move,
He knew not what ail'd him, but he fear'd it was Love.

The Nymph she beheld him with her modest grace,
Seeing something appear, she disguised her Face,
She disguised her Face, and unto him did say,
How now Mr. Shepherd, how came you this way.

The Shepherd replied, and to her he said,
I ne'er was surpriz'd at the sight of a Maid;
When that I beheld thee, from all Care was I free,
But now I am, Captive my dearest to thee.

O! Shepherd, O! Shepherd, leave not your free state;
For Love it will tangle you in sorrow that's great,
And distract your Brain, that you ne'er will have rest,
Then incline not to Love, for as yet you are blest.

Fair Nymph of the Wood, and thou charmer of Man,
The Beauty's so great I can't it withstand:
Then pity my Case, and yield me some Joy,
O! pity, O! pity, a wounded young Boy.

The Nymph she reply'd with a languishing look,
Saying Shepherd, alas! my way I mistook;
Or you never had seen, nor I know where you were,
For now I do pity you, I now do declare.

Then sit thee down by me, O! thou beauteous Nymph
And let me enjoy thy sweet Person one glimpse,
Of the Beauty CŠlestial, so charming, so fair,
The Beauty indeed is beyond all compare.

O don't prove my downfall! why will you O why?
Will you let your poor Shepherd thus languish and die,
If you grant me not Love, all the world can't me save,
Tho' I once did it slight, it will bring me to the Grave.

With that poor Adonis let fall some few tears,
His Face look'd pale, when discover'd his Cares,
The Nymph look'd [...], and blushing did cry,
O no sweet Adonis, for me thou shan't die.

Then take now your sheperdess be no more coy,
In Love let us live, and each other enjoy,
In the Grove that's so pleasant, [.........],
In Love let us live, and in Love let us die.

This answer revived poor Adonis's heart[?],
His troubles were fled and he [...........],
The Nymph she receiv'd [...................],
And from her fair Shepherd she [............].

As charming Venus was, when she wa[.....],
Along with brave Mars when the Gods did at them [...],
This Nymph and young Shepherd [...........]
Like the light of the Sun beams so charming they were,

Thus in great enjoyment fro care and all strife,
these two loving couple lead a happy Life,
No Wars, no Battles, nor Rumours they see,
In Peace and in great Comfort, and in Pleasure they be.

Amongst the sweet Groves thus pleasant they live,
Nothing they want but Heaven doth them give:
It is there, it is there, O! it's there that they keep,
their quiet, contented and poor, harmless sheep.

All Day near to Mountains, and Rivers they rove,
At Night they return to their peacable Grove,
And thus in the Day as well as the Night,
They live in great Pleasure, in Joy and Delight.

One sings with her voice, the other plays with her flute,
While one is employed, the other stands mute,
They look at each other, so charming, so sweet,
Sometimes interposing their Lips they do meet.

Thus charming, thus lovely, they lead a sweet life,
So free from all care, and so safe from all strife,
If therefore all of you, contentment would find,
Like these happy couple be loving and Kind.


London: Printed and Sold by L. How in Petticoat-Lane

Bodleian Ballads Catalogue: Harding B 39(189)

Matthew