ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
Chiron, "To H. M. on her appearing in the character of a Shepherdess of the Alps, at a late Masquerade" St. James's Chronicle (21 July 1774).
1773: John Langhorne
1773: W. H.
1773: W. H.
1776: M. R.
1777: W. H.
1777: T. S.
1778: Samuel Johnson
1778: Rev. William Tasker
1779: T. B****s
1781: Bp. Robert Lowth
1783: Elizabeth Carter
1784: James Beattie
1785: Ann Yearsley
1789: John Williams
1791: Elizabeth Ogilvy Benger
1791: A Young Lady
1792: John Bennet
1794: Rev. Richard Polwhele
1795: Elizabeth Montagu
1806: William Forbes
1809: Melesina Chenevix Trench
1809: Sydney Smith
1814: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
1815: William Henry Ireland
1819: Leigh Hunt
1822: James Harley
1828: Leigh Hunt
1834: Sara Coleridge
1837: Thomas Babington Macaulay
1846: John Dix
1847: Joseph Cottle
1855: Sarah Josepha Hale
1857: Samuel Griswold Goodrich
1858: Cyrus Redding
1871: S. C. Hall
1882: Epes Sargent
1883: Eric S. Robertson
1774: Hannah More
A tender Tale, O Hannah, wilt thou hear,
That makes thine aged Shepherd's Heart full gay?
Tho' length of Days untuned hath his Ear,
And stole his easy Melody away;
Yet shalt thou once indulge what once was dear,
And sigh to think how many a sweeter Lay
The Harpy Hands of TIME and DEATH have snatch'd away!
O Hannah, late o'er this sequester'd Wild
Sought my sad Steps for ev'ry mournful Shade,
All wrapt in Sorrow, for a long-lov'd Child
That, hapless, from her Father's Fields had stray'd,
And, oh! said I, what Caitiff has beguil'd,
With Wizard Arts, my unsuspecting Maid?
And to the baneful Lures of courtly Haunts betray'd.
Long griev'd my Heart, and Cause had I to grieve
For her, the Pride of these distinguish'd Plains;
For her would oft Sabrina deign to leave
Her purple Waves, and listen to her Strains;
For her would oft the hoary Avon weave
Fair Flowers, collected with ingenious Pains,
From Banks where Shakespeare dream'd in Slumber's Fairy Chains.
With Happiness her tuneful Lay began,
With early Virtue, and each moral Care;
And well could she each Female Folly scan,
And teach the thoughtless Elfin to beware.
Ah, me! said I, that e'er so fair a Plan
Like Fancy's Fabrics, should dissolve in Air!
Where now her "peaceful Shades," her "Solitudes," ah! where?
Oft has she sung, that in the "humble Shed,"
Far from the specious Walks of splendid Care,
Fair Peace resides, "from Courts and Cities fled,"
And cherishes the silent Virtues there:
And still with these her gentle Life she led—
Then, Woe the Thought! that ever Life so fair,
Should to the bashful Lures of courtly Haunts repair!
Thus in the Shade of MENDIP'S Mountains wild,
I wak'd the Lyre, and fondly fed my Woe;
And oft the Muse that wayward Woe beguil'd,
And lent me soothing Strains, and Accents slow;
When late a lovely Form, advancing, smil'd,
"And, Swain, she cry'd, thy tender Grief forgoe,
Nor for thy Laura lost, let fancy'd Sorrows flow.
"She is not lost — Shepherd, she treads the Plain,
She winds the Hills, and wakes the vocal Glade;
Yet not where AVON murmurs to the Main,
Nor on SABRINA'S Margin hath she stray'd,
In other Fields she joins the choral Train,
Where RHOETIAN hills the neighb'ring Skies invade,
And ALPINE Fairies dance along the star-light Shade.
"O, wilds of RHOETIA! with her Presence bless'd,
Your Mountains melt their everlasting Snow,
Bare their green Bosoms for so great a Guest,
And ATHESIS essays a softer Flow.
At her soft Lay your ruder Voice shall rest,
Ye Storms that o'er TELLINA'S Valley blow,
And ADDA'S angry Waves roll indolently slow."
She said, and o'er my languid Temples threw
A Wreath of Flow'rs my Laura's Hand had twin'd;
Right well the Fancy of that Wreath I knew,
And with sweet Hope allay'd my anxious Mind;
Happy my lovely Shepherdess to view
In foreign Scenes, for nobler Fame design'd,
Than dies in Mendip's Shades, dies on the murm'ring Wind.