1785
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Pastoral.

Morning Post and Daily Advertiser (18 October 1785).

A. M. B.


Eight anapestic quatrains, signed "A. M. B." The singer complains of her inconstant lover: "The inconstant, whose falsehood I sing, | By honour nor pity is bound; | He knows not how sorrow can sting, | He feels not ingratitude's wound." The poem is somewhat unusual in the Pastoral Ballad series; it largely ignores the pastoral trappings and seems almost specific about affairs between a pair of lovers no longer young.



He came from the Plains of the East,
More welcome to me than the day,
His voice was contentment and rest,
His looks were the Sun's cheerful ray.

Like the smooth stream he glided along;
Like its surface he shone in my eye;
He exceeded the Nightingale's song,
With him ev'ry pleasure was nigh.

He had pass'd the gay season of youth,
Many years had he left me to roam;
Yet he swore to his honour and truth,
And fondly he call'd me his home.

More mild than the summer's soft breeze,
He bid me repose on his breast;
There he promis'd me rapture and ease,
And that zephyrs shou'd fan me to rest.

He compar'd me to Mexico's ore,
Vow'd his love had increas'd with his years;
But he breaks ev'ry oath he has swore,
He leaves me to anguish and tears.

He remembers no more how I've lov'd,
How anxious I wish'd his return;
How in youth he was all I approv'd,
Nor how bitterly now I must mourn.

The inconstant, whose falsehood I sing,
By honour nor pity is bound;
He knows not how sorrow can sting,
He feels not ingratitude's wound.

Yet sure, when he sees me laid low,
When he hears how for him I have sigh'd,
His heart will regret the fell blow
By which a fond woman has died.

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