The English folk song 'The Crystal Spring' has been playing on my iPod lately and I've been thinking about it in detail. It's a favorite of mine for several reasons:
1. It tells the the sweet story of a ships Captain from the 1700's or 1800's proposing to his sweetheart.
2. It has a very pretty melody.
3. It's one of the only songs I know that has the name "Phyllis" mentioned in it (and when I cared for an elderly lady named Phyllis at the Alzheimer's Care Home I worked at I would sing the song to her).
4. The song was sung in Sense & Sensibility (1981) and any song from a Jane Austen adaptation instantly becomes a favorite! (hear that version)
The Crystal Spring
Down by a crystal spring, where the nightingales sing,
Most pleasant it is, in season, to hear the groves ring.
Down by the riverside, a young captain I espied,
Entreating of his true love, for to be his bride.
Dear Phyllis, says he, can you fancy me?
All in your soft bowers a crown it shall be;
And you shall take no pain, I will you maintain,
My ship she's a-loaded just come in from Spain.
Whenever you dine, there you shall drink wine;
And so sweetly in the season then you shall be mine.
Like a lady so rare, I'll maintain you so fair;
There's no lady in the navy with you shall compare.
If e'er I prove false to my soft little dove,
May the ocean turn desert; and the elements move:
For whereever I shall be, I'll be constant to thee,
My heart is no rover, if I rove through the sea.
Jane Austen's Persuasion: Also it came to mind that 'The Crystal Spring' would be a lovely addition if it were used in a new adaptation of Jane Austen's Persuasion! The line that says "For wherever I shall be, I'll be constant to thee" fits perfectly with what Captain Wentworth said to Anne in his letter: "I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant."
It would be lovely if the song were used in a scene of Anne & Captain Wentworth's early romance, perhaps even a scene where Anne plays and sings it and then Captain Wentworth could join her in the second verse singing: "Dear Phyllis said he, can you fancy me?" Then the tune might be used later when they meet again to bring back memories!
And I just discovered that the song originated in the county of Somerset where the Elliot's home Kellynch is located in the book!
Have you ever heard 'The Crystal Spring' before?
Which verse of the song is your favorite?
If a new adaptation of Persuasion was filmed would you want to see scenes from Anne & Captain Wentworth's early romance?