Sylvia, wilt thou waste thy time (Thomas Arne)

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  • (Posted 2022-07-11)  CPDL #69979:  Network.png
Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2022-07-11).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 516 kB   Copyright: CC BY SA
Edition notes: Please click on the link for preview/playback/PDF download.

General Information

Title: Sylvia, wilt thou waste thy time
Composer: Thomas Arne
Lyricist: Torquato Tasso (trans. Wm. Ayre)create page
Number of voices: 1v   Voicing: Solo high
Genre: SecularAria

Language: English
Instruments: Basso continuo violin obbligato

First published: 1762
Description: A song probably written for performance in the London pleasure Gardens. Published in Clio and Euterpe, or British Harmony.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Sylvia, wilt thou waste thy prime,
Stranger to the joys of love?
Thou hast youth, and that's the time
Ev'ry minute to improve.
Round thee wilt thou never hear
Little wanton girls and boys,
Sweetly sounding in thy ear
Infant prate and mother's joys.

Only view that little dove,
Softly cooing to its mate;
As a further proof of love,
See her for his kisses wait.
Hark! that charming nightingale,
As it flies from spray to spray,
Sweetly tune an am'rous tale,
"I love, I love", it strives to say.

Could I to thy soul reveal
But the least, the thousandth part,
Of those pleasures lovers feel,
In a mutual change of heart.
Then repenting, would'st thou say:
"Virgins' fears from hence remove;
All the time is thrown away
That we cannot spend in love".