1774 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Shenstone

Samuel Jackson Pratt, in The Tears of Genius. Occasioned by the Death of Dr. Goldsmith (1774) 24-27.



And now, my lov'd Shenstone, for Thee,
Thou pride of the pastoral strain;
Thou fairest resemblance of me,
Dear, elegant Bard of the plain.

For thee, will I pour the sad lay,
That shall echo the thickets among;
And weep as I muse on the day,
That robb'd the poor swains of thy song.

Full gentle, and sweet, was the note
That flow'd from his delicate heart,
Simplicity, smil'd as he wrote,
And Nature was polish'd by art.

But now as I look o'er thy bowers,
As each shrub, and each stream, I survey,
Disaster invades the soft flowers:
For — oh — their lov'd master's away.

Ah, how should the woodlands be fair,
Ah, how the cool grottoes be gay?
The groves, murmur death, and despair,
The roses all droop and decay;

Full well may they sorrow and fade—
The dear shepherd that rear'd them is gone,
And well may the birds leave the shade—
For their loves and their labours are flown.

Then unseen let the Eglantine blow,
Unheeded the Hyacynth lye,
Unheard let the rivulets flow;
Let the Primroses flourish and die;

For the Swain who should crop them is gone!—
He sung — and all Nature admir'd;
He spoke — and all hearts were his own;
He fell — and all pity expir'd.—