1778
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Faithless Fair; a Pastoral.

Public Advertiser (9 October1778).

William Hawkins


Seven double-quatrains stanzas, after William Shenstone's Pastoral Ballad. The poet relates a lovers' quarrel, in which Philis proves most unkind: "With wonder I gaz'd at the maid, | For to her I was ever sincere, | Yet she frown'd at whatever I said, | So faithless, alas! was my dear." The poem is "Inscribed to Miss N—N, of Lincoln's-Inn-Fields."



Ye shepherds adhere to my woe,
And pity the anguish I bear;
Oh! did ye my sorrows but know,
Ye surely would greant me a tear!
My Phillis, that gladden'd the plain,
And formerly gave such delight,
Has left me to languish in pain,
And banish'd me quite from her sight.

Ah! once she was mild as the dove,
No nymph was more faithful and free,
And I thought her the goddess of love,
So sweetly she smil'd upon me:
Together, in grove or in mead,
Delighted we travers'd along,
While around us the herds were at feed,
Or we heard the sweet warbler's song.

But now I am sad and forlorn,
My pleasure and pastime is o'er;
For Philis rejects me with scorn,
And never will think on me more.
I met her one day in the dale,
And tenderly told her my care,
But oh! she rejected my tale,
And bade me go droop and despair!

She cried, you are fickle in mind,
Yet, trust me, I scarce can tell why,
And hop'd that some swain she should find,
That never would cause her to sigh.
With wonder I gaz'd at the maid,
For to her I was ever sincere,
Yet she frown'd at whatever I said,
So faithless, alas! was my dear.

Oh! think, cruel maid, I reply'd,
What vows you have proffer'd to me;
Then why am I scorn'd and deny'd
While thus I'm distracted for thee?
Remember, one eve in the grove,
With freedom you valu'd my truth;
In tears you then plighted your love,
And strongly regarded my youth.

Then why will you leave me to weep,
Nor pity the anguish I find?
Will Philis her cruelty keep?
Ah! will she be ever unkind?
Awhile, oh! reflect on my woe,
Your malice no longer invoke;
I'm wretched, you surely must know,
And die with so fatal a stroke!

'Twas thus I unbosom'd my grief,
Though fruitless I found was my plea;
For still she ne'er gave me relief,
Nor longer will smile upon me.
Ye shepherds so jocund and gay,
Since my charmer will never be won;
Oh! give a kind ear to my lay,
And pity a youth that's undone!

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