1785
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Love. A Pastoral.

Morning Post and Daily Advertiser (13 September 1785).

Anonymous


Three anapestic quatrains, not signed, in the manner of Shenstone and Cunningham. The poem is printed with an epigraph, "Multum in Parvo."

E. S. to Richard Polwhele [who was translating Theocritus], 3 December 1785: "Pastoral poetry is quite out of fashion. There is not a pert school-boy of fourteen that has not been taught to run it down as unnatural, and to laugh at the soft complainings of a Thyrsis, a Corydon, or a Daphne. Prejudices in general increase with years; and what the school-boy imbibed from the lessons of his master, the man cannot divest himself of. I myself, though I admire the excellence of the poetry, cannot but think the sentiments are often trivial, and still oftener bordering upon the burlesque" Traditions and Recollections (1826) 1:189.



How idle, how weak are thy strains,
Repeated so oft in the grove,
Describing the pleasures and pains,
That constantly wait upon Love.

When forc'd from my Maria to go,
The maid to my bosom I press;
No language can utter my woe,
No melody speak my distress.

But when I am charm'd with the sight,
When blest by the voice of my fair;
Ye shepherds, your notes of delight,
My bliss makes the notes of despair.

[unpaginated]