1792
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Colin: a Pastoral. In imitation of Shenstone.

The Bouquet, a Selection of Poems from the most celebrated Authors, with some Originals. 2 vols.

Rev. J. Ashley


Five double-quatrain stanzas in the measure of William Shenstone's Pastoral Ballad. Phoebe sings of her happy love for Colin: "Ye shepherds, rejoice in his bliss, | Ye nymphs do not envy my joy: | Let your manners be artless as his, | And be happy as COLIN and I." Like other contribution to the series, this pastoral draaws upon the authority of Shenstone to sing the praises of provincial life. The Bouquet does not indicate whether this poem is collected or "original." J. Ashley, not identified, is presented as "Vicar of Fleet in Lincolnshire."



Ye shepherds, and nymphs of the plain,
Come tripping about in a throng;
Since COLIN'S the theme of my strain,
You will all of you join in the song:
Of nymphs the delight and the joy;
Of shepherds the envy and praise;
There's none but must heave the soft sigh,
There's none but will echo the lays.

With all that can charm and delight,
With all that can rapture inspire;
More dear to his PHOEBE than sight,
He is all my fond wishes desire:
He has found ev'ry charm that can please,
Sure Cupid has lent him his dart;
He has stol'n from the Graces their ease,
He has stol'n — No, — I gave him my heart.

I ask not the splendour of courts,
I love not the noise of the town;
Ah! far from such joyless resorts
The Graces affrighted are flown:
Vain pomp has no charms for my breast,
All state but my COLIN I scorn;
With him my poor cot would be blest,
Without him a palace forlorn.

With him when I trip o'er the plain,
How swift glide the hours away!
But ah! when he leaves me again,
How dull and how tedious the day!
When he speaks, how my heart does rejoice!
When he sings, how I'm charm'd with the song!
Sure music's more sweet from his voice,
And truth flows improv'd from his tongue!

He has told me — I can't but believe,
That PHOEBE is dear to his breast;
He has said, and he cannot deceive,
—But why need I tell you the rest?
Ye shepherds, rejoice in his bliss,
Ye nymphs do not envy my joy:
Let your manners be artless as his,
And be happy as COLIN and I.

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