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XXXI. The Devonshire Nymph: Or
The Knight's happy Choice. Shewing how a young rich Knight fell in Love with the Daughter of a poor Weaver of Devonshire, and for her Beauty and Virtue marry'd her.
To the Tune of, Tender Hearts of London City.
The many Beauties, as well as Scarcity of this
Song, justly entitles it to a Place in this Collection; for having heard of it, I made it my Buliness to search the whole Town over for it, but all in vain, till meeting with a Gentlewoman who us’d to sing it, The favour'd me with a copy of it. Its Beauties I will not pretend to point out; they are so obvious, and indeed so frequent, that we have not time to admire one, before another presents itself to our Eyes ; and I believe those who are acquainted with Nature and easy Poetry, will acknowledge they have them here in their utmost Perfečtion.
However, I cannot forbear taking Notice of
a beautiful Imitation of one of Martial's best Epigrams, in the three first lines of the second Stanza: The Epigram is this: Quicquid agit Rufus, nihil eft, nisi Navia Rufo
Si gaudet, fi fet, si tacet, hanc loquitur: Cænat, propinat, poscit, negat, annuit, una est
Nævia: Si non sit Navia, mutus erit. Scriberet hefternâ Patri, cum luce falutem,
Nævia lux, inquit, Navia numen, ave. For the Benefit of my Female Readers, I shall
give a Translation of this Epigram by a famous modern Hand, or rather an Imitation of it, for it is impossible to translate the Beauties of the second Line.
Let Rufus weep, rejoice, stand, fit or walk, Still he can nothing but of Nevia talk: Let him eat, drink, ask Questions, or dispute, Still he must talk of Nævia, or be mute. He writ to’s Father, ending with this Line, I am, my lovely Navia, ever thine.
N the West of Devonshire, IN
Liv'd a Maid of Beauty rare,
Pegoy there had all the Fame.
Pretty Peggy must come in,
Fame that oftentimes doth flatter,
To a young and Worthy Knight,
Beauty was his sole Delight.
Whether Peggy would be kind But he did never meet with ever
Such a Face, and such a Mind. When he first beheld the Creature, All her Charms were lent by Nature,
Neither Spots nor Tower she wore,
At her poor old Father's Door.
At the little Interview :
For now I swear Report is true.
Kiss'd her Hands, and bless'd her Eyes,
But, alas, she all denies.
But her Virtue was so strong,
Altho' poor Peggy was but young.
Leave your homely rural Sport,
Amongst the glorious Stars at Court.