1782
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Doubtful Shepherd. A Pastoral.

European Magazine 1 (February 1782) 146-47.

Anonymous


A lover's complaint in six anapestic quatrains, signed "Fairfield, Sudbury." Mira has wandered away from the cottage, leaving the Doubtful Shepherd to consider his unhappy situation: "But I for the maiden will roam, | O Luna, refulge till the day! | If I bring the fair traveller home, | Her smiles will my anguish repay."

Robert Shelton Mackenzie: "The European Magazine gave a variety of good engravings, (landscapes, and public buildings, with very good portraits of living characters), and was long the property of Mr. Aspern, who published the letters of the famous John Wilkes" Noctes Ambrosianae, ed. Mackenzie (1854) 1:133n.



Ah! why do I silently grieve,
Or, pensive, recline by the brook?
Why the doubts of young Phillis believe,
"That Mira my cot has forsook?"

Perhaps, when the evening's dew
Has fall'n on the pasture and plain,
The wandering fair I may view,
And pleasure succeed for my pain.

'Tis true, she has sense and pure wit,
Each list'ner to charm and surprize;
And e'en stoics would freely admit
They lustre receive — from her eyes.

My sheep now to covert have fled;
Bright Sol has to Thetis retir'd;
The owl too complains on the shed;
(This gloom how by lovers admir'd!)

But I for the maiden will roam,
O Luna, refulge till the day!
If I bring the fair traveller home,
Her smiles will my anguish repay.

Alas! should my search be in vain,
And Mira with Damon retire;
Adieu to the sweets of the plain,
For, hope in my breast will expire.

[pp. 146-47]