1767
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Delia. A Pastoral.

Universal Magazine 40 (May 1767) 263.

George Philip Toosey


Six double-quatrain stanzas, "in Memory of the much-lamented Death of Miss K. D-ngw-th." The poem is signed "Alexis, May 9, 1767." In this poem G. P. Toosey adapts the Shenstone mode to pastoral elegy, and as in The Contest, the tone fails: "Yes Delia, no time can efface, | Thy image impress'd on my heart; | And who knows, in a very short space, | We may meet again never to part." Toosey published his collected poems in 1768, a tragedy in 1772, and was heard from no more.

The poem appeared the same month in the Royal Magazine with the name "Dongworth" spelled out and the signature "G. T., May 8, 1767."



Attend, O ye nymphs and ye swains,
O listen a while to my lay;
Tho' pensive and languid my strains,
Time was I, like you, too was gay;
But now my heart's bleeding with grief,
And pleasure is fled from my sight;
There's nothing can give me relief,
There's nothing can give me delight.

Do ye ask whence my troubles proceed,
Why thus I continue to weep;
And why, scatter'd over the mead,
Unheeded I leave my poor sheep?
Reflect, and ye cannot but guess,
The reason that makes me so dull;
I cannot the cause well express,
My heart, my poor heart is so full.

Don't ye know that my Delia is dead,
That this was the day that she dy'd;
Tho' a twelvemonth is flown o'er my head,
Yet still I my sorrows can't hide;
Yes, e'en in the bloom of her charms,
When crown'd the fair Queen of the May;
Stern death from my eager fond arms,
Alas! cruelly tore her away.

Ah shepherds and nymphs all so fair!
You knew my dear Delia I find;
For I see in each eye a soft tear,
And trust me I take it most kind;
Your pity her merit makes known,
Wonder not, then, her loss I deplore;
That I never can cease to bemoan,
For she's gone — I shall see her no more!

They tell me 'tis folly to grieve,
And bid me the pastimes to join;
They may lesser troubles relieve,
But cannot alleviate mine.
Each meadow, each green myrtle grove,
Where oft we together have stray'd;
All a mournful remembrance move,
Of the matchless, engaging dear maid.

Yes Delia, no time can efface,
Thy image impress'd on my heart,
And who knows but a very short space
We may meet again never to part?
Grant this, O ye pitying powers!
For then will my sorrows all cease,
And my anxious corroding sad hours,
Be chang'd for whole ages of peace.

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