A Pastoral.

Morning Post and Daily Advertiser (3 January 1776).


Fifteen anapestic quatrains in the manner of William Shenstone and John Cunningham, signed "Eliza." This pastoral lyric is notable for a particularly naughty Colin: "The garland that hung on his arm, | With pleasure he fix'd on my brow, | Nor could I beware of the harm, | For he was all innocence now!" The poet seems to write with more conventional ballads in mind, though the sense of her little story seems somewhat garbled.

Note: "The fair writer of these stanzas, it is hoped, will excuse the alterations we have presumed to make in them."

To you ye fair Maids of the round,
The ring where we oft have been gay,
Full well I remember the sound,
Tho' in sorrow I tell it to-day.

Young COLIN the smartest of all,
With his pipe and his sweet oaten reed,
Caught my heart, for you know he was tall,
And what could his music exceed!

The dance being ended he came
And sat by my side on the bank;
With envy you heard him proclaim,
That I with the fairest might rank.

The garland that hung on his arm,
With pleasure he fix'd on my brow,
Nor could I beware of the harm,
For he was all innocence now!

"The flowers, he said, he had chose,
And 'mongst them the choice maiden-blush,
But I was the sweet blooming Rose."—
I trembled, and begg'd he would hush!

To call up my fold it was time,
In haste I made way to my care,
And tho' all my number was nine,
My favourite fleece was not there.

Half frantic I ran o'er the plain,
And got to the shady retreat,
And listen'd again and again,
To hear my poor wanderer bleat:

But would you believe it, ye Maids,
Young COLIN was then in the grove?
'Twas under those ever-green shades,
Where Cupid, you told me, would rove.

The Urchin sat high in the Palm,
The Cypress just cover'd his head,
His bow seem'd to threaten much harm—
I saw it, and fain would have fled:

But COLIN came out of the bow'r,
My lambkin came tottering too,
The grass was all wet with the show'r,
Alas, Maidens, what could I do!

To shelter me under a beach,
The Deceiver he gave me a nod!
But there! Oh! I made the sad breach
'Gainst Virtue, myself, and my God!

No longer that tree shall live drest,
In satin and woodbine so gay,
'Twas there I was robb'd of my rest,
And there I will end my last day.

I'll poison the root with my tears,
Like me it shall moulder away;
After COLIN I send all my fears,
This tribute to virtue I pay.

I have gather'd some grass for my lamb,
And made up a bed of green moss,
But, ah! how I feel for its dam,
She's bleating all round for her loss.

When you find it, I beg you with care
Will render it back to the fold,
And decently cover me where
You see I have hallow'd the mould!