1797
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Sorrowful Shepherd. A Pastoral.

European Magazine 32 (August 1797) 120.

I. Cobbin


Five double-quatrain stanzas, after Shenstone's Pastoral Ballad. Corydon, the Sorrowful Shepherd, finds himself in a familiar situation: "Florella sometimes will admire | The charms of his musical art; | But vainly his wishes aspire | To make a note reach to her heart." The poem is signed "I. Cobbin, Jun.," possibly Ingram Cobbin (1777-1851), a Congregational minister included in the DNB as a commentator on scripture.



Come hither, ye shepherds, and list;
Pay attention to Corydon's lays:
O, join in the theme, and assist
To sing to my Florella's praise.
Florella, the pride of our plain;
Florella the lovely and fair;
But ah! how she uses her swain,
And drives him almost to despair.

No shepherd e'er lov'd her so well,
His passion is ardent and pure;
O! could she his feelings but tell,
She surely his torments would cure.
Tho' fifty fair nymphs flock around,
And smile and invite him to roam;
Not one like Florella he's found,
The cot of Florella's his home.

There viewing her beauteous face,
There list'ning to hear the nymph speak,
He gazes on ev'ry grace,
And eyes the sweet smiles on her cheek;
But ah! are those smiles for her swain?
Alas! other shepherds are blest;
And this gives him infinite pain,
He's not belov'd more than the rest.

How sorrowful passes his day!
No pleasures can give him delight;
He takes up his pipe and he plays,
The tune is as dull as the night.
Florella sometimes will admire
The charms of his musical art;
But vainly his wishes aspire
To make a note reach to her heart.

Sad, mourning, and weeping he goes,
No shepherd will pity his grief;
Florella, inform'd of his woes,
Refuses to give him relief:
Yet still of the nymphs of the plain,
Florella's to him the most fair;
Tho' cruel she uses her swain,
And drives him almost to despair.

[p. 120]