A pastoral elegy which had appeared as the second pastoral in Oxford and Cambridge Miscellany Poems (1708). "Albino" is George, Duke of Gloucester, Queen Anne's only surviving son, who had died in 1700 at the age of 11. The death of the heir implied a change of dynasty; Philips and the Whigs would benefit mightily from the advent of Hanoverian rule.
H. B.: "The third pastoral is called Albino; by whom the poet meant the duke of Gloucester, son of queen Anne. It is a dialogue between Angelot and Palin, two young shepherds, who lament the death of that young prince. The mention of Virgil and Spenser, in the introduction, is very elegant" "Remarks on Philips's Pastorals" in Universal Visitor (1756) 306-07.
Herbert E. Cory: "Eclogue three, 'Albino,' contains a resolution to write pastorals because they were cultivated by Virgil and Spenser. 'And Spenser, when amid the rural throng | He carol'd sweet and graz'd along the flood | Of gentle Thames, made every sounding wood | With good Eliza's name to ring around.' Angelot and Palin sing an elegy for Albino. Angelot laments, but Palin sings of hope in the vein popularized for English pastoral elegy by Spenser in his lament for Dido. The old Spenserian fashion of flower-passages is revived. 'O now, if ever, bring | The laurell green, the smelling eglantine, | And tender branches from the mantling vine, | The dewy cowslip which in meadow grows, | The fountain violet and the garden rose, | Marsh-lilies sweet and tufts of daffodil.'... Compare the famous flower set-piece in Spenser 's Song to Elisa in April, and its many imitations, some of which are cited in The Golden Age of the Spenserian Pastoral referred to above. In this eclogue occur two other of Spenser's shepherd-names, Cuddy and Hobbinol" "Critics of Edmund Spenser" UCPMP (1911) 136-37 &n.
Mary G. Segar: "It follows closely Virgil's 5th Eclogue. In the earliest version this debt is virtually acknowledged as it concludes thus: 'Et puer ipse fuit cantari Dignus. Virg. Eccl. 5.' Pope was quick to recognize and comment on its source. To Henry Cromwell he remarks that it is 'for the most part a translation from Virgil's Daphnis, and I think a good one'" Poems (1937) 172.
Christine Gerrard: "Other poets such as Ambrose Philips, secretary to the Whig Hanover Club, turned their Spenserian pastorals into vehicles for their Hanoverian loyalism. Philips and his supporters engaged in heated 'pastoral wars' with the Tory Pope, ostensibly over Spenserian 'rusticity' and the appropriate pastoral style, but covertly over dynastic allegiance" The Patriot Opposition to Walpole (1994) 168.
When Virgil thought no Shame the Dorick Reed
To tune, and Flocks on Mantuan Plains to feed,
With young Augustus' Name he grac'd his Song;
And Spencer, when amid the rural Throng
He carol'd sweet, and graz'd along the Flood
Of gentle Thames, made ev'ry sounding Wood
With good Eliza's Name to ring around;
Eliza's Name on ev'ry Tree was found.
Since then, thro' ANNA'S Cares at Ease we live,
And see our Cattle unmolested thrive;
Like them will I my slender Musick raise,
And teach the vocal Vallies ANNA'S Praise.
Mean time, on Oaten Pipe a lowly Lay,
While my Kids brouze, obscure in Shades I play:
Yet not obscure, while Dorset thinks not Scorn
To visit Woods, and Swains ignobly born.
Two Country Swains, both musical, both young,
In Friendship's mutual Bonds united long,
Retir'd within a mossie Cave, to shun
The Croud of Shepherds, and the Noon-day Sun.
A melancholy Thought possess'd their Mind:
Revolving now the solemn Day they find,
When young Albino died. His Image dear
Bedews their Cheeks with many a trickling Tear;
To Tears they add the Tribute of their Verse;
These Angelot, those Palin did rehearse.
Thus yearly circling by-past Times return;
And yearly thus Albino's Fate we mourn:
Albino's Fate was early, short his stay;
How sweet the Rose! how speedy the Decay!
Can we forget how ev'ry Creature moan'd,
And sympathizing Rocks in Eccho groan'd,
Presaging future Woe; when, for our Crimes,
We lost Albino, Pledge of peaceful Times?
The Pride of Britain, and the darling Joy
Of all the Plains and ev'ry Shepherd Boy.
No joyous Pipe was hear'd, no Flocks were seen,
Nor Shepherds found upon the grassie Green;
No Cattle graz'd the Field, nor drunk the Flood,
No Birds were heard to warble thro' the Wood.
In yonder gloomy Grove stretch'd out he lay,
His beauteous Limbs upon the dampy Clay,
The Roses on his pallid Cheeks decay'd,
And o'er his lips a livid Hue display'd:
Bleating around him lye his pensive Sheep,
And mourning Shepherds come in Crouds to weep,
The pious Mother comes, with Grief oppress'd:
Ye, conscious Trees and Fountains, can attest
With what sad Accents and what moving Cries
She fill'd the Grove, and importun'd the Skies,
And ev'ry Star upbraided with his Death,
When in her widow'd Arms, devoid of Breath,
She clasp'd her Son. Nor did the Nymph for this
Place in her Dearling's Welfare all her Bliss,
And teach him young the Sylvan Crook to wield,
And rule the peaceful Empire of the Field.
As milk-white Swans on Silver Streams do show,
And Silver Streams to grace the Meadows flow;
As Corn the Vales, and Trees the Hills adorn,
So thou to thine an Ornament wast born.
Since thou, delicious Youth, didst quit the Plains,
Th' ungrateful Ground we till with fruitless Pains;
In labour'd Furrows sow the Choice of Wheat,
And over empty Sheaves in Harvest sweat:
A thin Increase our woolly Subtance yield,
And Thorns and Thistles overspread the Field.
How all our Hopes are fled, like Morning Dew!
And we but in our Thoughts thy Manhood view.
Who now shall teach the pointed Spear to throw,
To whirl the Sling, and bend the stubborn Bow?
Nor dost thou live to bless thy Mother's Days,
To share the sacred Honours of her praise:
In foreign Fields to purchase endless Fame,
And add new Glories to the British Name.
O peaceful may thy gentle Spirit rest!
The flow'ry Turf lye light upon thy Breast;
Nor shrieking Owl, nor Bat, fly round thy Tomb,
Nor Midnight Fairies there to revel come.
No more, mistaken Angelot, complain;
Albino lives; and all our Tears are vain:
And now the royal Nymph, who bore him, deigns
To bless the Fields, and rule the simple Swains,
While from above propitious he looks down.
For this the golden Skies no longer frown,
The Planets shine indulgent on our Isle,
And rural Pleasures round about us smile.
Hills, Dales, and Woods with shrilling Pipes resound;
The Boys and Virgins dance with Garlands crown'd,
And hail Albino blest: The Vallies ring,
Albino blest. O now! if ever, bring
The Laurel green, the smelling Eglantine,
And tender Branches from the mantling Vine,
The dewy Cowslip, that in Meadow grows,
The Fountain Violet and the Garden Rose:
Your Hamlets strew, and ev'ry publick Way,
And consecrate to Mirth Albino's Day.
My self will lavish all my little Store,
And deal about the Goblet, flowing o'er:
Old Moulin there shall harp, young Mico sing,
And Cuddy dance the Round amid the Ring,
And Hobbinol his antick Gambols play.
To thee these Honours yearly will we pay,
When we our Shearing Feast and Harvest keep,
To speed the Plow, and bless our thriving Sheep.
While Mallow Kids, and Endive Lambs pursue,
While Bees love Thyme, and Locusts sip the Dew;
While Birds delight in Woods their Notes to strain,
Thy Name and sweet Memorial shall remain.