1793
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lines, in the Stile of Shenstone.

The Oracle (13 December 1793).

Themira


Seven double-quatrain stanzas, signed "Themira, December 10." The pastoral lyric consists of a lover's complaint: "His frowns may deprive me of joy, | May suspend every comfort awhile, | But a moment their force can destroy— | There's a magic that dwells in his smile." The imitation in this instance consists of little more than the theme and the stanza. The poet was a regular contributor to The Oracle.



Ah how long and how earnest I've strove,
Midst the stings of neglect and despair,
The rude fetters of LOVE to remove,
And his name from my memory to tear;
But, alas! every effort is vain,
Still my passion must baffle each art,
Still I cherish with rapture my chain,
And his image will reign in my heart.

If with him to a desart I stray,
Or range the wild woodlands among,
An injunction on time would I lay,
For 'tis HEAVEN to list to his song;
But for pleasure ah where can I rove?
In each circle abstracted I pine,
And the world must a wilderness prove,
To a heart so dejected as mine.

Can I ever forget his soft power,
When first the lone arbour we prest?
And if ever I think of that hour,
Can I vaunt me a bosom at rest?
Still his vanish'd caresses I mourn,
Still my mind must each solace defy,
And controul still remembrance must scorn,
Tho' it often would spare me a sigh.

No enchantment has friendship for me,
My depression no friends can remove;
They can never persuade me I'm free,
'Till they teach me the means not to love.
They may make me contented appear,
If awhile from retirement I steal,
They perhaps may suppress a warm tear,
But they cannot forbid me to feel.

I have prov'd every pang from disdain,
Which a bosom susceptive could own,
But, alas! I should never complain,
For the fondest endearments I've known.
His frowns may deprive me of joy,
May suspend every comfort awhile,
But a moment their force can destroy—
There's a magic that dwells in his smile.

Yet I fain from my mind would efface
The mingled sensations I feel,
For me tender return can I trace,
On that heart where I languish to steal.
HOPE oft' o'er my sorrows will bend,
And will oft' his indifference mask;
But PITY is all she will lend,
And PITY is not what I ask.

Ah then will I silently grieve,
Nor the warmth of my feelings betray;
My tears shall my anguish relieve,
And my sighs to his pillow shall stray;
Yet tell him not, streamlet, whose eyes,
Have thy delicate current opprest—
Ah! tell him, soft gale, thou art sighs,
But never reveal from whose breast!

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