Ye watchful guardians of the fair (Green sleeves) (Joseph Haydn)

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  • (Posted 2020-03-01)  CPDL #57316:  Network.png
Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2020-03-01).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 53 kB   Copyright: CC BY SA
Edition notes: Please click on the link for preview/playback/PDF download. Separate vioin part provided.

General Information

Title: Ye watchful guardians of the fair (Green sleeves)
Composer: Joseph Haydn
Lyricist: Allan Ramsay

Number of voices: 1v   Voicing: Solo high
Genre: SecularFolksong

Language: English
Instruments: Keyboard, violin accompaniment

First published: 1792 in A selection of Original Scots Songs
Description:  Hob. XXXIa.112 Fakesong from the Celtic tweelight.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Ye watchful guardians of the fair,
Who skiff on wings of ambient air,
Of my dear Delia take a care,
And represent her lover.
With all the gaiety of youth,
With honour, justice, love and truth,
Till I return her passions soothe;
For me in whispers move her.

Be careful no base sordid knave,
With soul sunk in a golden grave,
Who knows no virtue but to save,
With glaring gold bewitch her.
Tell her she was for me designed,
For me, who know how to be kind,
And have more plenty in my mind
Than one who's ten times richer.

Let all the world turn upside down,
And fools run an eternal round
In quest of what can ne'er be found,
To please their vain ambition.
Let little minds great charms espy
In shadows which at distance lie,
Whose hoped-for pleasure, when come nigh,
Proves nothing in fruition.

But, cast into a mould divine,
Fair Delia does with lustre shine,
Her virtuous soul's an ample mine,
Which yields a constant treasure.
Let poets in sublimest lays
Employ their skill her fame to raise;
Let sons of music pass whole days
With well tuned reeds to please her.