1792
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Absence. In imitation of Shenstone.

European Magazine 22 (December 1792) 455.

A. L.


Four double-quatrains stanzas, signed "A. L." In the second half of this lover's complaint the poet decides to divert himself with aesthetic pleasures: "My fields should be cover'd with sheep, | And the throstles in descants would join, | Whose carols might lull me to sleep, | While on the green bank I'd recline." The poet nicely captures the invertebrate tone of this series of Shenstone imitations.



When forc'd the dear fair-one to leave,
I strove how to smother each sigh,
But my bosom with anguish did heave
When the tear 'gan to steal from her eye:
I gaz'd at her form, whilst in view,
Till its beauty could hardly be seen;
With her hand then she bade me adieu—
So ended the love-parting scene.

Her air is so comely and meek,
Such sweetness her features disclose,
The colour that glows on her cheek
Cannot be outvied by the rose:
Now she's absent whose form charms the sight,
My friends to amuse try in vain;
And diversions which once gave delight,
Cannot now tend to soften my pain.

Methinks I should like to retire
To a cottage well-shaded with trees,
With a garden my friends might admire,
Where sweets will invite busy bees;
My fields should be cover'd with sheep,
And the throstles in descants would join,
Whose carols might lull me to sleep,
While on the green bank I'd recline.

With the lark let me rise ev'ry morn,
To welcome the prime of each day,
In the evening my woodbines adorn,
Or the lute may drive sorrows away:
Each rustic, while homeward he goes,
Would listen to hear the soft strain;
The delight which such music bestows
Might assist to diminish my pain.

[p. 455]