In vain I try my ev'ry art (William Boyce)
- Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2022-07-11). Score information: A4, 324 kB Copyright: CC BY SA
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First published: 1753
Description: Written for The Chaplet, a musical entertainment, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Also used in the London pleasure gardens.
Original text and translations
In vain I try my ev'ry art,
Nor can I fix a single heart,
Yet I'm not old or ugly.
Let me consult my faithful glass
A face much worse than this might pass,
Methinks I look full smugly.
Yet bless'd with all these powerful charms,
The young Palaemon fled these arms,
That wild unthinking rover.
Hope silly maids as soon to bind
The rolling streams, the flying wind,
As fix a rambling lover.
But hamper'd in the marriage noose,
In vain they struggle to get loose,
And make a mighty riot.
Like madmen now they rove and stare,
Awhile they make their chains and swear,
And then lie down in quiet.