1763
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Happy Shepherd.

St. James's Chronicle or British Evening Post (20 August 1763).

P. P.


Five anapestic quatrains, signed "P. P." The anonymous poet sounds the retirement theme running through so much of this Shenstone-inspired sequence of poems: "Let great folks of liberty prate, | T' enjoy it take infinite pains; | But liberty's primitive state | Is only enjoy'd on the plains." This is a different lyric than that of the same title by William Hawkins.



Yes, Phillis we'll trip o'er the Meads,
And hasten away to the Plain;
Where Shepherds attend with their Reeds,
To welcome my Love and her Swain.

The Lark is exalted in Air,
The Linnet sings perch'd on the Spray;
Our Lambs stand in need of our Care,
Then let us not lengthen Delay.

The Pleasure I feel with my Dear,
While gamesome young Lambs are at Sport,
Exceeds the Delight of a Peer,
That shines with such Grandeur at Court.

When Collin and Strephon go by,
They form a Disguise for a while;
They see how I'm bless'd with a Sigh,
But Envy forbids them to smile.

Let great Folks of Liberty prate,
T' enjoy it take infinite Pains;
But Liberty's primitive State
Is only enjoy'd on the Plains.

With Phillis I rove to and fro,
With her my gay Minutes are spent;
'Twas Phillis first taught me to know
That Happiness flows from Content.

[p. 164]