1777
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ballad. On Despair.

St. James's Chronicle or British Evening Post (11 December 1777).

Damon


Six anapestic quatrains, after Shenstone's Pastoral Ballad, signed "Damon." This lyric develops the financial thread in the sequence: "Ah! if I had Riches in Store, | My Tongue shou'd my Passion declare; | But wishing will never add more, | So Damon must sigh and despair."



Why was the young Nancy so fair!
Ah! tell me, ye Shepherds, I pray?
I saw her — and I must despair—
She's richer, far richer, than me.

Poor Damon was ever content,
Till Nancy appear'd on our Plain;
Such Beauty by Heaven was sent—
But why should it wound a poor Swain?

My Lambkins were once my Delight,
I thought myself rich as a King;
No more does their Bleating invite,
To the Tabor no more I can sing.

Nor my Dog I regard as before,
But frown as he kisses my Feet:
I haste to the Eglantine Bower,
And sigh as I feel my Heart beat.

Ah! if I had Riches in Store,
My Tongue shou'd my Passion declare;
But wishing will never add more,
So Damon must sigh and despair.

And Nancy she never shall hear
The Passion which troubles my Breast;
In Secret shall trickle my Tear,
But Nancy I hope will be blest.

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