1783
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

A Pastoral.

European Magazine 4 (August 1783) 153-54.

Indiana


A pastoral ballad in nine anapestic quatrains, signed "Indiana." The poet, a woman, complains of the attentions she has been receiving from two swains, and introduces a variation on the bird's-nest stanza from Shenstone's Pastoral Ballad: "The linnet that sits on yon spray, | But yesterday flew to my breast; | There trembling and panting it lay, | It was robb'd of its young and its nest." In this poem the lady rejects Philander; for more about Damon, see the sequel published in December.

The signature is possibly that of Indiana Brooks, who published a novel, Eliza Beaumont and Harriet Osborne (1789). Nothing else appears to be known of her. Some poems with this signature had appeared in the Town and Country Magazine in 1778.



Ye shepherds, while round me ye throng,
And vainly the hours beguile,
Ye cannot admire my song,
Nor I dare not repay you your toil.

Philander, how fatal the day,
When ye led me to Damon's gay bower!
How careless, till then, did I stray,
New pleasures awak'd the young hours.

Though ye sung me the carol of love,
Though ye wove me the garland so fine;
Though to praise me ye each of you strove,
And told me my form was divine;

How fondly I boasted my heart
Could never be caught be your guile;
Too soon I experienc'd the smart,
And my Damon can cause me to smile.

The linnet that sits on yon spray,
But yesterday flew to my breast;
There trembling and panting it lay,
It was robb'd of its young and its nest.

Could I the sweet songster confine,
And heighten the pangs it endur'd,
Its sorrow I judg'd of by mine,
And its liberty quickly secur'd.

This garland, so curiously wove,
Philander but yesterday gave;
Two turtles, sweet emblems of love,
And declar'd I his soul did enslave.

Though he is the pride of the swains,
Tho' with fortune, with humour possess'd,
Tho' with rapture I hear his sweet strains,
And wish I could render him blest:

Yet forbear to pursue me, fond youth,
Thy Delia more bliss shall impart;
She has honour, wit, beauty, and truth,
And you long have possess'd her fond heart.

[pp. 153-54]