1786
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Sentimental Shepherd; a favourite new Pastoral Canzonet.

Public Advertiser (23 February 1786).

Mr. Harrison


Four anapestic quatrains "sung at Mr. Trew's Readings, Free-Masons Hall, by a young lady, pupil of Mr. Percy. The words by Mr. Harrison. The music by Mr. Percy." The lyric is a contribution to the series of sentimental poems on the sufferings of dumb animals. As is often the case with such sentimental verse, the song verges on the burlesque.



Though my flocks range o'er pastures of Peace,
Crop rich herbage, and quaff the clear stream,
Oft my pipe's too gay carols I cease,
With a sigh — that their bliss is a dream.

Cruel man! Ought it not to suffice
That beneath their warm fleeces you glow,
While the food is lock'd up by the ice,
And themselves are half buried in snow?

Who can hear, without anguish, the lambs,
As shiv'ring they bleat in the cold?
Who can see the distress of their dams,
And such fondness unweeping behold?

When I think that fell slaughter, ere long,
Their dear innocent bosoms must stain,
With my griefs I soon finish the song,
Meant at first to enliven the plain.

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