1766
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Strephon to Louisa.

St. James's Chronicle or British Evening Post (21 June 1766).

A Trifler


Ten anapestic quatrains, signed "A Trifler," written in the mode of Shenstone's Pastoral Ballad. Strephon finds Louisa in tears, and offering the comforts of pastoral imagery, extends his best wishes: "May you ne'er know the Frowns of a Foe— | In a Friend ev'ry Charm may you find; | And at last, when his Dart Death shall throw, | To your Memory still I'll be kind." The poet was a sometimes contributor to the St. James's Chronicle.



Why heaves your fond Bosom, my Dear,
When Nature looks wantonly gay?
Why streams, my Louisa, the Tear,
When Spring wears the Dimples of May?

On the Hawthorn which shadows the Dale,
Has the Thrush paid his Tribute of Love;
'Tis now that the Nightingale's Tale
Is heard ev'ry Night in the Grove.

Hark! the Ploughman, how jocund he sings—
He feels not the Canker of Care;
He nor envies the Splendor of Kings,
Nor of Kings the too-delicate Fare.

If he meets not his Lucy's Disdain,
If she deems not his Passion a Joke;
He'll smile, like a Stoic, at Pain,
And the Crutch of Old Age shall be broke.

The Milkmaid o'erstripping the Mead,
Now feels soft Sensations arise;
While the Clown, taught by Nature, can read
The Language of Love in her Eyes.

See, Spring her green Mantle has spread,
To receive a fond Couple's Embrace—
While Laura, reclining her Head,
Sees a Serpent peep out of the Grass.

'Tis now Nature's Songsters are seen,
From Morn to the Close of the Day—
You may find them on every Green,
You may hear them on every Spray.

In Pairs see they dart o'er the Hill,
Or skim through the Valley below;
'Tis now that they wantonly bill,
'Tis the Time that they wantonly coo.

Then pr'ythee, Louisa, believe
This Maxim, the Force of my Love—
"All the Days of your Life may you live,"
And may Pleasure each Moment improve.

May you ne'er know the Frowns of a Foe—
In a Friend ev'ry Charm may you find;
And at last, when his Dart Death shall throw,
To your Memory still I'll be kind.

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