1773
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Maria and Corydon.

Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser (14 January 1773).

J. W. D.


Four double-quatrain stanzas in the measure of Shenstone's Pastoral Ballad and John Cunningham's Content, a Pastoral. Beneath a white thorn, Maria complains of her lover Corydon, who overhears all she sings.

Headnote: "Sir, If you think the following trifle of an hour, worth a place in your paper, give it room; if not, commit it to the flames. Your friend and humble servent, J. W. D., Chancery Lane, Jan. 10."



As Maria was seated beneath a white thorn,
Lamenting, was heard by a swain:
Why, Corydon! absent from evening to morn?
Why leave me, dear youth! to complain?
My Lambkins, be mute — I no pleasure can find,
Ye birds, cease your notes on the spray,
Your songs are all discord! — their bleatings unkind!
Since Corydon's wander'd away,

To fetch back a kid, that had stray'd from the fold,
He told me he'd haste o'er the plain!
He kiss'd me at parting — but, oh! twas so cold!
I fear'd his return back again;
There's Silvia, the handsome — her cot's on the hill,
He danc'd with, last wake, on the green;
I know that she loves him! — my heart, now lie still!
In the grove they together were seen.

With a chaplet of roses she braided his hair,
Inviting him home to her cot;
He swore that he hated — yet loves her, I fear!
And Maria — poor I! — am forgot:
'Tis true — ah! too true — by his absence so long;
My lambkins, adieu! — we must part!—
For my Corydon's false — Oh! here ends my song!
And I die with a love-broken heart.

The youth, quite unable to hear her bemoan,
With joy he bounds o'er the thorn,
No, no! my Maria, my heart is thine own,
Unsullied as fleeces just shorn!
Entranc'd she beheld him! eyes sparkling so bright,
With rapture he flew to her breast;
Their pleasures were equal, from morning to night;
When weary'd, went happy to rest.

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