Virgins are like the fair flow'r (Johann Christoph Pepusch)
- Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2019-11-10). Score information: A4, 2 pages, 62 kB Copyright: Personal
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First published: 1728
Description: Airs 45 and 46 from "The Excellent Choice, being a collection of the most favourite old song tunes in the Beggar's Opera, set for 3 voices in the manner of catches, or for two German flutes and a bass by Dr. Pepusch and the most eminent English masters." London, printed for I. Walsh c.1755. Pepusch was dead by the time of this publication, and careful reading does not confirm categorically that this arrangement was his. Two harmonizations of the tune are given, both for equal voices and bass (the second with the tune in the middle part).
Original text and translations
Virgins are like the fair flow'r in its lustre
Which in the garden enamels the ground;
Near it the bees in play flutter and cluster,
And gaudy butterflies frolic around.
But when once plucked, 'tis no longer alluring,
To Covent Garden is sent as yet sweet;
There fades and droops and grows past all enduring,
Shrinks, rots and dies and is trod under feet.