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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

Come, Come, My Good Shepherds

David Garrick (1717–1779)

COME, come, my good shepherds, our flocks we must shear,

In your holiday suits, with your lasses appear;

The happiest of folks are the guiltless and free,

And who are so guiltless, so happy, as we?

We harbour no passions by luxury taught,

We practise no arts with hypocrisy fraught;

What we think in our hearts, you may read in our eyes;

For knowing no falsehood, we need no disguise.

By mode and caprice are the city dames led,

But we, as the children of nature are bred;

By her hand alone, we are painted and drest,

For the roses will bloom when there’s peace in the breast.

That giant, Ambition, we never can dread;

Our roofs are too low for so lofty a head;

Content and sweet cheerfulness open our door,

They smile with the simple, and feed with the poor.

When love has possess’d us, that love we reveal:

Like the flocks that we feed are the passions we feel;

So harmless and simple, we sport, and we play,

And leave to fine folks to deceive and betray.