Should love sincere (James Oswald)
- Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2022-05-15). Score information: A4, 2 pages, 141 kB Copyright: CC BY SA
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First published: c.1755 (n/d)
Description: Published in "Amaryllis", London; a collection of "such songs as are most esteemed for composition and delicacy and sung at the Publick Theatres or Gardens". The authorship of the words remains unknown. It is tempting to speculate whether the writer of this hymn to love unencumbered by social differences was perhaps Leonora Robinson Lytton of Knebworth, whom Oswald married upon the deaths of their respective spouses.
Original text and translations
Should love sincere, devoid of art,
Less joy or bliss bestow?
Because the hand goes with the heart,
Must that create our woe?
Tho' Hymen's torch turns often dim
'Tis not poor Hymen's fault;
He ne'er design'd his nymphs and swains
Should traffic or be bought.
But Plutus, foe to gen'rous love,
Its ruin, cause and bane,
Resolv'd that gold should only move
The youthful nymph and swain.
Thus riches join unequal pair,
Neglecting care and rule;
The ugly with the blooming fair,
The witty with the fool.
Let sense and merit fix your choice;
Good nature too should aid.
Attend to truth's unerring voice
And let not wealth persuade.
A partner, thus by reason chose,
Your tenderness repays;
No chains, no fetters will impose,
But soothes your nights and days.