A youth whom the bounty of nature had graced (Joseph Vernon)
- Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2022-10-09). Score information: A4, 9 pages, 1.15 MB Copyright: CC BY SA
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Title: A youth whom the bounty of nature had graced
Composer: Joseph Vernon
Number of voices: 1v Voicing: solo high
Genre: Secular, Aria
Instruments: Basso continuo, strings accompaniment
First published: 1772
Description: Written for performance at Vauxhall.
Original text and translations
A youth, whom the bounty of nature had grac'd
With elegant ease and refinement of taste,
Resolv'd by the precepts of wisdom to move,
And early proclaim'd a defiance of love:
He swore 'twas all weakness to sigh, wish or care;
Yet own'd with great frankness that Phyllis was fair.
The virgin was piqu'd at the infidel's boast,
And vow'd a revenge, with the air of a toast;
Not that all he declar'd could her passions perplex,
But the confident thing had attack'd the whole sex:
Her charms then for conquest she had to prepare,
And smil'd when she heard him say: "Phyllis was fair".
To learning for refuge and comfort he ran
To learning the business and pleasure of man;
But Phyllis disturb'd all the authors he read,
When she glanc'd by his study and nodded her head:
The labours of ages soon vanish'd to air.
No idea remain'd but that Phyllis was fair.
Still hardly convinc'd and disdaining to yield,
A vot'rist of glory, he sprang to the field;
While under his breastplate, the little god's dart
Convey'd ev'ry moment a hint to his heart:
Then late he perceiv'd, in a pang of despair,
He bled but to prove that his Phyllis was fair.
To Bacchus at last he submitted his claim,
But was taught to acknowledge wine strengthen'd his flame.
At Phyllis's feet then a culprit confess'd,
He abjur'd all his errors and begg'd to be bless'd:
The maid gave her hand with a negligent air,
And own'd she was kind, since he said she was fair.