1775 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Cunningham

W. Holland, "Corydon and Phyllis. A Pastoral. To the Memory of Mr. J. Cunningham" Hibernian Magazine 5 (September 1775) 559.



BOTH.
What means the sad silence around?
The herds from the coverts are fled;
What means the mute village bell's sound?
Say, Phillis, what shepherd is dead?

Alexis, the pride of our plain,
Who sung of our loves in the grove;
All nature admir'd his strain,
And call'd him the poet of love.

CORYDON.
He was next, my fond Phillis, to thee;
His life was a summer of love;
His fancy was easy and free,
And shone like the prospect above.

Not a tree on the plain but he lov'd,
He joy'd when the fond mother sung;
Not a branch in his life he remov'd,
For fear of disturbing their young.

PHYLLIS.
The sweets of the seasons perfume,
Were lovelier still in his lays;
Pastora was ever in bloom,
So fond was the nymph of his praise.

The beautiful tenants of May,
Rejoic'd when he courted the green;
His morning was lovely and gay,
His ev'ning was mild and serene.

CORYDON.
But see the sad shepherds appear,
The once happy swains of the Tweed;
Ye seasons, come follow his bier,
For now you are mourners indeed.

Come play we his Withering Rose,
The last of his elegant lays;
The pastoral current is froze,
His own can best picture his praise.
Dublin.