The Book of Scottish Song/Ah, Chloris

Ah, Chloris.

[This elegant lyric appears in the Tea-Table Miscellany, headed Gilderoy, that being the tune to which it is adapted. It has also been copied into most other Scottish collections of songs, and ascribed to President Forbes of Culloden. Mr. Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe, however, has recently discovered it to belong to Sir Charley's Sedley's play of the Mulberry Tree, which was printed in 1675, before President Forbes was born. It can therefore no longer be admitted with propriety into any Scottish collection, and is only reprinted here for the purpose of correcting a long established error.]

Ah, Chloris! could I now but sit
As unconcern'd, as when
Your infant beauty could beget
No happiness or pain!
When I this dawning did admire,
And praised the coming day,
I little thought that rising fire
Would take my rest away.

Your charms in harmless childhood lay,
As metals in a mine;
Age from no face takes more away
Than youth conceal'd in thine:
But as your charms insensibly
To their perfection press'd,
So love, as unperceived, did fly,
And centre in my breast.

My passion with your beauty grew,
While Cupid, at my heart,
Still, as his mother favoured you,
Threw a new flaming dart.
Each gloried in their wanton part,
To make a lover, he
Employ'd the utmost of his art;—
To make a beauty, she.