A 19th century unrequited love ballad – how anachronistic in the 2020s?
John Collie (1834-1893) – lyrics
Dave Edwards – banjo, harmonica, vocal
FAREWELL to thee , charming deceiver , No more will I crouch at thy gate ; I once was an earnest believer , And my folly I see when too late .
I once had a whimsical notion , That woman was nothing but love , As true as the tides of the ocean , And as sweet as the flower of the grove .
But experience has taught me a lesson , A lesson I ever will mind ; And the clear undisguised voice of reason Says , thy kindness at best was unkind .
You laughed at my weakness , and said , It was only a childish affection ; My caresses with scorn you repaid , Which hurried me on to dejection .
Did I weep , when ye bade me begone ? Yes , I wept till I could weep no more Did I sigh ? ‘ twas for pangs then unknown , And griefs which I ne’er felt before .
Did I love ? yes , I loved without measure , My soul to her inmost was charmed ; I nursed and I fondled my treasure , Till its sting all my senses disarmed ,
But why need I weep and complain , Since fate has approved the decree ; And time now has severed the chain , Which bound those affections to me .
But yet , when I try to seem light , My idol is ever at hand ; Who crushes me down with the weight The weight of her magical wand .
Can the bird of the forest be gay , When deprived of her young feathery brood ? Can the traveller , when wandering astray , Look blyth in a desolate wood ?
Or can love , unrequitted , rejoice , When neglected , despised , and forlorn ? No , the spark that flies upward soon dies , But love still continues to burn .
But words are all useless and vain , Though they , too , at times must have vent ; ‘ Tis hard to be always in pain , But ‘ tis worse to be never content .
Then farewell , thou charming deceiver , No more will I crouch at thy gate ; I once was an earnest believer , And my folly I see when too late .
from Poems & Lyrics by John Collie (1856), track released May 17, 2021