1782
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

[Blythe Colin.]

Public Advertiser (6 August 1782).

Anonymous


The song of a coy maiden, in three double-quatrain stanzas — part of the series imitating Rowe's Collin's Complaint and Shenstone's Pastoral Ballad. The poem is presented as "A favourite Song sung by Mrs. Wrighten at Vauxhall. Composed by Mr. Hook." By the 1780s the anapestic measure was becoming a common feature in pastoral lyric, so many of which were being published in newspapers and songbooks that it would be difficult to collect them all. While the impetus for this lyric series derived from the popularity of Shenstone, the series had origins in Nicolas Rowe's "Collin's Complaint" (1715 ca.) and earlier seventeenth-century songs. This is a different song than the "Blithe Colin" written in the same measure by William Hawkins in 1778.



Blythe Colin, a pretty young Swain,
To court me, walks many a Mile;
I bid him return back again again,
Tho' I wish'd him to stay a great while.
With all by which Love is exprest,
He studies my Heart to beguile;
I wish him Success I protest,
Tho' — I tell him he'll wait a great while!

He brought me this Nosegay so sweet,
And thought it more Pleasure than Toil;
I took it, reserv'd, and discreet,
But I'll not let him wait a great while:
He begg'd to grant him a Kiss,
So earnest, he made me quite smile;
Have done, I cried, fie! 'tis amiss,
Tho' I wish'd it to last a great while!

He tells me I ought to be kind,
That Time all my Beauties will spoil;
I cross him — tho' quite of his Mind,
For I love he shou'd talk a great while.
I fancy by what he has said,
My Husband he'll be by his Stile,
And when he once asks me to wed,
Oh! I'll not let him wait a great while!

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