Collinet and Phebe | American Revolution War Song

About the author

Frank Moore
Frank Moore

Frank Moore was a journalist and Revolutionary historian. He published a number of books on the American Revolution during his career in the mid-19th century, including Songs and Ballads of the American Revolution, Diary of the American Revolution and The Patriot Preachers of the American Revolution.

Though this song has but slight pretensions to literary merit, its subject long made it popular among the colonists. It was first printed in the Pennsylvania Magazine, and occasionally reprinted in the newspapers as the war progressed. The melody to which it was adapted, “As Jamie gay blithe gang’d his way,” probably increased its popularity.

Collinet and Phebe

As Collinet and Phebe sat,
Beneath a poplar grove,
The gentle youth, with fondest truth,
Was telling tales of love.

Dear blooming maid, the shepherd said,
My tender vows believe,
These downcast eyes, and artless sighs,
Can ne’er thy faith deceive.

Though some there are, from fair to fair,
Delighting wild to rove,
Such change, thou ne’er, from me canst fear,
Thy charms secure my love.

Then Phebe now, approve my vow,
By truth, by fondness press’d;
A smile assume to grace thy bloom,
And make thy shepherd bless’d.

A blush o’erspread her cheek with red,
Which half she turn’d aside;
With pleasing woes, her bosom rose,
And thus the maid replied

Dear gentle youth, I know thy truth,
And all thy arts to please;
But ah ! is this a time for bliss,
Or themes as soft as these ?

While all around, we hear no sound,
But war’s terrific strains !
The drum commands our arming bands,
And chides each tardy swain.

Our country’s call, arouses all,
Who dare be brave and free !
My love shall crown the youth alone,
Who saves himself and me.

‘Tis done ! he cried, from thy dear side,
Now quickly I’ll be gone;
From love will I, to freedom fly,
A slave to thee alone.

And when I come with laurels home,
And all that freemen crave,
To crown my love, your smiles shall prove,
The fair reward the brave.1

  1. “The fair reward the brave.” On the departure of the able-bodied men “in the service of their country, the patriotic young women, to prevent the evil that would follow the neglect of putting in the crop, joined the ploughs and prepared the fallows for the seed; and now, their fathers, brothers, and lovers, being detained, in the support of the liberties of these States, have determined to plant the seed themselves.” – Freeman’s Journal, 1776.

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