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Carter's setting of an anonymous adaptation from A Midsummer Night's Dream, first used by Henry Purcell in the Fairy-Queen. It looks very much like a marriage with a traditional Scottish air.

Lyrics: Anon

If love's a sweet passion, why does it torment,
If a bitter, O tell me, where comes my content?
Since I suffer with pleasure why should I complain,
Or grieve at my fate, since I know 'tis in vain?
Yet so pleasing the pain is, so soft is the dart.
That at once it both wounds me and tickles my heart.

I grasp her hand gently, look languishing down,
And by passionate silence I make my love known.
But oh, how I'm blest, when so kind she does prove
By some willing mistake to discover her love;
When in striving to hide, she reveals all her flame,
And our eyes tell each other what neither dare name.

How pleasing is beauty, how sweet are the charms?
How delightful embraces, how peaceful her arms?
Sure, there's nothing so easy as learning to love;
'Tis taught us on earth, and by all things above,
And to beauty's bright standard all heroes must yield;
For 'tis beauty that conquers and keeps the fair field.

Charles Thomas Carter
(c.1735 - 1804)

If love's a sweet passion

(Sop./Ten.2Fl.Bsn.2Hn.2Vn.Va.Vc.)

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