Purcell’s strophic, two-verse setting of this song appeared in the fourth book of Playford’s Choice Ayres and Songs
in 1683. The poet, perhaps in the heat of the moment, swore that he would not fall in love again and, in the same breath, that he would forget the ‘gilded charms’ of his lady-love, Lucinda (a familiar figure in Cavalier lyric poetry). But such resolutions are likely to be broken just as quickly as they were made ‘when love Does feed the active fire’, for there is no method of preventing the ‘infection’ of love once it has reached the heart.
from notes by Robert King © 2003