1778
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Happy Milkman, a Pastoral Ballad.

Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser (8 September1778).

William Hawkins


Four quatrains: varying his style, William Hawkins tells the story of Joe and Sally in couplets rather than alternating rhyme. The Happy Milkman pushes the simplicity of the Shenstone manner to its outer limits. The poem, like all the others in the Morning Chronicle, is signed "Mr. Hawkins" — presumably the William Hawkins who published Poems, chiefly Pastoral (1786).



As Joe with his pails went a milking one morn,
Young Sally he saw sitting under a thorn;
Amaz'd at her beauty, her shape and her mien,
He vow'd she was lovely, and thought her a Queen.

Thus saying, he hasten'd up close to the maid,
Then laid down his yoke, and intreated her aid;
So sweetly he press'd her — so sweet play'd his part,
That would you suppose it? he won her fond heart.

At first she look'd modest, and seem'd to resist,
And cried, do not teaze me! I will not be kiss'd!
But he his persuasions so sweetly applied,
She kindly consented she would be his bride.

Then streight to the church they both tript it so free,
Where they were united by Hymen's decree;
And now are as chearful as birds on the spray,
No Monarchs more blest, nor so happy as they.

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