1795
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

On the Death of a Young Lady. Imitated from Shenstone.

European Magazine 27 (June 1795) 417.

Anonymous


A pastoral elegy in four stanzas of anapestic couplets not signed. While the form is unusual, the title places the poem in the series of imitations of Shenstone's Pastoral Ballad: "With tender compassion all Nature she view'd, | And to her in vain the distressed never su'd; | To her friends with affection her heart overflow'd, | While her soul with celestial piety glow'd."



"Yes, these are the meadows, the shrubs and the plains,
Once the scene of my pleasures, the scene of my pains;"
Where oft with ELIZA I gaily did rove,
Who amply requited a parent's kind love:
"But be still, my fond heart, thy emotions give o'er;"
'Tis impious to think thou shalt see her no more.

How oft in the corn-fields with her have I stray'd,
And cull'd the wild flow'rets to please the dear maid,
Who delighted tripp'd homewards the spoil to divide
With a parent enraptur'd to walk by her side:
But be still, my fond heart, thy emotions oh cease!
The skies have reclaim'd her, and she is at peace.

What pleasure to view her mind daily expand,
Her sense to improve, and with wit at command!
For the Muses inspir'd her infantine lay,
But too soon droop'd the blossom, and hope fled away:
Yet be still, my fond heart, thy emotions restrain,
The bliss that surrounds her shall soften thy pain.

With tender compassion all Nature she view'd,
And to her in vain the distressed never su'd;
To her friends with affection her heart overflow'd,
While her soul with celestial piety glow'd.
Then be still, my fond heart, thy Creator implore,
That again we may meet — and to lose her no more.

[p. 417]