Songs Set To Music: 28. Nelly.

A poem by Matthew Prior

Whilst others proclaim
This nymph or that swain,
Dearest Nelly the lovely I'll sing:
She shall grace every verse,
I'll her beauties rehearse,
Which lovers can't think an ill thing.

Her eyes shine as bright
As stars in the night;
Her complexion's divinely fair;
Her lips red as a cherry,
Would a hermit make merry,
And black as a coal is her hair.

Her breath, like a rose,
Its sweets does disclose,
Whenever you ravish a kiss
Like ivory inchas'd,
Her teeth are well placed;
And exquisite beauty she is.

Her plump breasts are white,
Delighting the sight,
There Cupid discovers her charms;
Oh! spare then the rest,
And think of the best;
'Tis heaven to die in her arms.

She's blooming as May,
Brisk, lively, and gay,
The Graces all round about her;
She's prudent and witty,
Sings wondrously pretty,
And there is no living without her.

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