1764
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Elegiac Ballad.

London Chronicle (20 November 1764) 483.

Anonymous


Three double-quatrain stanzas, not signed, in the manner of William Shenstone's Pastoral Ballad. The unhappy lover complains of Amanda's coldness: "Fate only a Refuge can find | From the Tortures to which I am drove, | For the Arrow of Death is more kind | Than the Dart of unpitying Love." The use of "ballad" in the title refers to the measure rather than the substance of poem, which is a love-elegy.



Ye Grottoes, who hear me complain
Say, whence has the madness arose,
That my breast must for ever retain
What only destroys my repose?
That thus to your tenantless shade
Her fatal idea I bear,
And distractedly doat on the maid,
Who has doom'd me for life to despair.

O Reason! presumptuously vain,
How idly dost thou disapprove;
And affect to look down on a pain,
Which thou never canst hope to remove:
Can Reason extinguish the fire,
Which those nameless sensations impart,
Or Wisdom subdue the desire,
Which Nature has stampt on my heart.

But yet must thou foolishly blame,
For Amanda will never incline,
Nor her bosom partake of the flame,
Which her beauty has kindled in mine;
Fate only a refuge can find
From the tortures to which I am drove,
For the arrow of Death is more kind
Than the dart of unpitying Love.

[p. 483]