1782
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

To the Memory of a deceased Friend. A Pastoral.

Morning Herald and Daily Advertiser (22 March 1782).

A Lady


Eight anapestic quatrains, signed "a Lady." The poem touches lightly and obliquely on the mystery of death, which has separated a pair of devoted lovers: "Ah! why should a creature so meek, | Such anguish and sorrow ere know? | And why should that once blooming cheek, | Now assume the pale colour of snow?" The call to Pity in the last stanza is a standard part of the genre, summoning other members of the virtual pastoral community of taste to partake of the sentiment offered.



With DAMON how oft have I stray'd,
In this garden bereft of it's flow'rs;
With pleasure each plant we survey'd,
As they thirstily drank up the show'rs!

Content tripp'd it close at my side,
All my cares, and my sorrows forgot;
My bosom exulting with pride,
That Friendship now dwelt in my cot!

But no more shall that friend lead me forth,
With his PHILLIS to pass the sweet day!
Since Nature this model of worth,
Has so cruelly taken away!

But so chang'd now alas! is the scene,
That it's pleasures no longer I know;
For each shrub is disrob'd of its green,
While our cot — is the cottage of woe!

And behold in the midst of this gloom,
Sad PHILLIS with tear-streaming eyes;
Whose heart is enshrin'd in yon tomb,
Where the Lord of her bosom now lies!

Ah! why should a creature so meek,
Such anguish and sorrow ere know?
And why should that once blooming cheek,
Now assume the pale colour of snow?

Soft Pity come haste to her aid,
Nor thus let her die with despair;
For Nature declares, she ne'er made
One more gentle, more good, or more fair!

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