County Guy

by SIR WALTER SCOTT (1771-1832)

Ah! County Guy, the hour is nigh,
   The sun has left the lea,
The orange flower perfumes the bower,
   The breeze is on the sea.
The lark his lay who thrill’d all day
   Sits hush’d his partner nigh:
Breeze, bird, and flower confess the hour,
   But where is County Guy?

The village maid steals through the shade,
   Her shepherd’s suit to hear;
To beauty shy, by lattice high,
   Sings high-born Cavalier.
The star of Love, all stars above
   Now reigns o’er earth and sky;
And high and low the influence know
   But where is County Guy?

“County Guy” is a song from Quentin Durward (1823): “Whatever the reader may think of this simple ditty, it had a powerful effect on Quentin, when married to heavenly airs, and sung by a sweet and melting voice, the notes mingling with the gentle breezes which wafted perfumes from the garden, and the figure of the songstress being so partially and obscurer visible, as threw a veil of mysterious fascination over the whole.”

Sir Walter Scott Contemporaries
William Wordsworth
Thomas Moore
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Robert Southey

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