1779
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Despairing Shepherd, a Pastoral, inscribed to Miss —.

General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer (11 June 1779).

William Hawkins


A pastoral lyric in four double-quatrains signed "William Hawkins." The sentiments and imagery in this love complaint are familiar from Spenser's December eclogue: "Adieu then ye eglantine bow'rs, | Ye groves and ye vallies so fine; | Adieu ye sweet shrubs and ye flow'rs, | Thro' sadness your charms I resign." The vogue for anapestic pastorals was brief but intense, generating more songs and brief lyrics than can be collected here.



Immers'd in the vale of Despair,
Despondent and pensive I stray,
No pleasures contented I share,
No more can be joyous and gay;
Adieu then ye eglantine bow'rs,
Ye groves and ye vallies so fine;
Adieu ye sweet shrubs and ye flow'rs,
Thro' sadness your charms I resign.

Adieu all ye sports of the plain,
No more your diversions invite;
Adieu to the pastoral strain,
As now it ne'er yields me delight:
Adieu to my pipe and my crook,
My sheep and my lambkins adieu!
All pastime your shepherd's forsook,
Nor longer is watchful of you.

Adieu ye sweet birds of the vale,
No more in assemblage ye please;
No more I attend to your tale,
Since I am deprived of ease:
For Phillis has left me in woe,
And calls me a wretch of disdain;
I'm jeer'd too wherever I go,
Thro' the jest that she makes of my pain.

But oh! was she like me distrest,
By a youth who to her was unkind,
She'd pity the pangs in my breast,
To give some relief to my mind:
Nor thus overwhelm me with care,
Nor smile as dejected I rove,
Nor cause me to pine and despair,
And die a poor victim to love!

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