Dandy---o (2)/The dying swan

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To its own Proper Tune.

’TWAS on a river’s verdant side,
about the close of day,
A dying swan with music try’d
to chace her cares away.

And tho’ she ne’er had strain’d her throat,
or tun’d her voice before.
Death, ravish’d with so sweet a note,
a while the stroke forebore.

Farewell, she cry’d, ye silver streams,
ye purling waves adieu,
Where Phoebus us’d to dart his beams,
and bless both me and you.

Farewell, ye tender whistling reeds,
soft scenes of happy love;
Farewell, ye bright enamell’d meads,
where I was wont to rove.

With you I must no more converse;
look, yonder setting sun
Waits, while I these last notes rehearse,
and then he must be gone.

Mourn not, my kind and constant mate,
we’ll meet again below:
It is the kind decree of Fate,
and I with pleasure go,

While thus she sung, upon a tree
within th’ adjacent wood,
To hear her mournful melody
a Stork attentive stood.

From whence thus to the Swan she spoke:
what means this song of joy?
Is it, fond fool, so kind a stroke
that does thy life destroy?

Turn back, deluding bird, and try
to keep thy fleeting breath:
It is a dismal thing to die,
and pleasure ends in death.

Base Stork, the Swan reply’d, give o’er,
thy arguments are vain;
If after death we are no more,
yet we are free from pain.

But there are soft Elysian shades,
and bow’rs of kind repose,
Where never any storm invades,
nor tempests ever blows

There in cool streams, and shady woods,
I’ll sport the time away;
Or, swimming down the chrystal floods,
among young Halcons play.

Then pr’ythee cease, or tell me why
I have such cause to grieve.
Since ’tis a happiness to die,
and ’tis a pain to live.


This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.