The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #131251   Message #2964086
Posted By: GUEST,DPB
12-Aug-10 - 10:45 PM
Thread Name: Shepherd of the Downs (Copper Family)
Subject: RE: Shepherd of the Downs
Here is a rough attempt, for what it's worth, at reconstructing some of the illegible lines very kindly transcribed by Matthew Edwards:

With that poor Adonis let fall some few tears,
His Face look'd pale, when discover'd his Cares,
The Nymph look'd [sad], and blushing did cry,
O no sweet Adonis, for me thou shan't die.

Then take now your [shepherdess] be no more coy,
In Love let us live, and each other enjoy,
In the Grove that's so pleasant, [..... high,]   
In Love let us live, and in Love let us die.

This answer revived poor Adonis's [Heart],
His troubles were fled and he [did no more smart,]
The Nymph she receiv'd [him with looks soft and kind,]
And from her fair Shepherd she [comfort did find.]

Then softly he took her and did lay her down.
The Sky was their teaster, their Bed was the Ground,
He folded her often in his [.....] arms,   
Her Face and her Features discovered their charms.   

As charming Venus was, when she wa[s took],
Along with brave Mars when the Gods did at them [look],
This Nymph and young Shepherd, [most Pleasant & fair,]
Like the light of the Sun beams so charming they were,

The last verse cited here has a reference to Vulcan's (Hephaestus's) entrapment of Venus and Mars (Aphrodite and Ares), as related in the Odyssey. A teaster, or tester, in the preceding verse, is a canopy over a bed, according to the OED.

If anyone is hanging around the Bodleian this weekend, perhaps you could get us the actual words?