1762
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Written at the breaking out of the War with Spain, 1762. In imitation of Shenstone.

Public Advertiser (25 January 1790).

Anonymous


Twelve anapestic quatrains, not signed, published in 1790, "the Authour lately deceased." In this lyric the poet handles a traditional ballad topic in the manner of Shenstone's Pastoral Ballad. Celia laments her Damon's decision to enlist in the military: "Yet sure he at home should have staid, | And left to rough soldiers the war; | He only for love could be made, | Who is lovely beyond all compare." In the end she finds comfort in the thought that they shall be married when her lover returns crowned with titles and honors.



What sadness reigns over the plain,
How droop the sweet flow'rets around,
How pensive each nymph and each swain,
How silent each heart-pleasing sound!

No more the soft lute in the bow'r
Beguiles the blithe ev'nings away,
But sighs measure out the dull hour,
Since Damon has wander'd astray.

O! he was the village's pride,
This chance from his absence is seen;
'Twas he that our music supply'd
When we merrily danc'd on the green.

At the shearing, the wake, and the fair,
How jovial and frolic were we!
But now ev'ry feast in the year
Is as joyless as joyless may be.

Oh! why did he wander away?
'Tis the war that has call'd him to arms,
And, weeping, he cry'd, "Who can stay
When his country resounds with alarms?"

Yet sure he at home should have staid,
And left to rough soldiers the war;
He only for love could be made,
Who is lovely beyond all compare.

Wher'er the adventurer goes,
On the land or the dangerous main;
Kind Heaven! protect him from woes,
And give him to Celia again.

O! give him to Celia again—
To his true-love my shepherd restore;
On his bosom I'll cease to complain,
From my arms he shall venture no more.

But, alas! while thus fondly I sing,
Perhaps my love bleeding may lie;
Break beneath my stopt fingers each string—
To the depth of the thickets I'll fly.

There, hid from each eye, I'll bewail
My cruel disasters in love,
'Till echo shall learn the sad tale,
And repeat it through all the still grove.

But why these vain fears in my breast?
Let all sad suggestions be drown'd;
With success my brave swain shall be blest,
And with titles and honours be crown'd.

Then, then he will make me his bride,
For I know he does constant remain,
And we'll dwell on yon mountain's fair side,
Like the King and the Queen of the plain.

[unpaginated]