1772 ca.
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Sorrowful Shepherd. In Imitation of Shenstone.

The Shrubs of Parnassus, or, Juvenile Muse. A Collection of Songs, and Poems. Chiefly Pastoral. By W. Hawkins.

William Hawkins


Three quatrain stanzas, after William Shenstone's Pastoral Ballad. The shepherd complains of his faithless lover: "No heed can I take of my sheep, | They ramble and roam as they please, | For I can do nothing but weep | 'Till PHILLIS my sorrow doth ease" p. 9. The title specifies that this poem was "written at sixteen years old." Biographical information on William Hawkins is lacking, but if his "Juvenile Muse" was published at the age of twenty, perhaps 1772 would do for an estimated date.

Hawkins, imitating John Cunningham, constructed most of his oeuvre out of Shenstone's Pastoral Ballad. While he adopted other measures, he returned to the this mode again and again in newspaper verse published well into the 1780s. He seems to have some success composing lyrics for singers at London's pleasure gardens.

Advertisement: "The following pages are the effusion of a youthful mind, and most of the articles herein contained have occasionally appeared in magazines and other periodical publications; and if, by selecting them together, the author should contribute towards the entertainment of the public (as well as to the lady he was in duty bound to oblige) he will think the pains he has taken amply rewarded, though, at the same time, he hopes the candid reader will not forget the following remark, that 'A slender poet must have time to grow, | To spread and flourish as his brothers do; | Who still looks lean — sure with ill fate is curst, | But no man can be FALSTAFF fat at first.' DRYDEN. Notwithstanding that part of the title of this book, viz. 'The Shrubs of Parnassus,' is borrowed from Mr. WOTY, the author thinks it necessary to observe, that not a single line is taken or imitated from that gentleman's works. — He hears there is a small pamphlet in being, called, 'The Juvenile Muse,' which he pretends to know nothing of" p. iii.



Ah! whither, alas! shall I fly?
What clime shall I seek for relief?
Since PHILLIS no longer is nigh,
O! how shall I smother my grief.
The sweetest, the fairest, is she—
So neatly she trips o'er the plain;
But now she ne'er smiles upon me,
She's faithless — and false to her swain.

With STREPHON she's gone far away—
With him is contented and blest,
Whilst I am distracted all day,
And ruin'd for want of my rest.
No heed can I take of my sheep,
They ramble and roam as they please,
For I can do nothing but weep
'Till PHILLIS my sorrow doth ease.

Dear nymph hear thy shepherd complain,
Return and subdue all my care!
No longer torment me with pain,
For constant I am, I declare.
Thy charms ever shall be my pride,
Thy smiles I will ever admire;
Then deign you to be but my bride,
And satisfy all my desire.

[p. 9]