Songs Set To Music: 14. Set By Mr. Smith

A poem by Matthew Prior

Once I was unconfined and free,
Would I had been so still!
Enjoying sweetest liberty,
And roving at my will.

But now, not master of my heart,
Cupid does so decide,
That two she tyrants shall it part,
And so poor me divide.

Victoria's will I must obey,
She acts without control;
Phillis has such a taking way
She charms my very soul.

Deceived by Phillis' looks and smiles,
Into her snares I run;
Victoria shows me all her wiles,
Which yet I dare not shun.

From one I fancy every kiss
Has something in't divine,
And awful taste the balmy bliss
That joins her lips with mine.

But when with th' other I embrace,
Though she be not a queen,
Methinks 'tis sweet with such a lass
To tumble on the green.

Thus here you see a shared heart,
But I meanwhile the fool;
Each in it has an equal part,
But neither yet the whole.

Nor will it, if I right forecast,
To either wholly yield;
I find the time approaches fast
When both must quit the field.

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