1765
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mary. A Pastoral.

Scots Magazine 27 (August 1765) 432.

J. J. J.


Four double-quatrain stanzas signed "J. J. J., Kirkwall, Aug. 8. 1765." Mary is overcome by the singer's display of taste as he builds a bower among the woods: "My fancy she said she admir'd, | My cottage was wonderous fine: | How happily there she, retir'd, | Would live with a shepherd so kind!" But, alas, the sweeten maiden dies at the height of their bliss. This is perhaps the same poet as the "J. I., Kirkwall" who had contributed a pastoral ballad to the Scots Magazine in January.



Quite bless'd with contentment and ease,
I formerly rov'd upon Clyde,
Whose banks seem'd created to please;
And Mary no favours denied.
There Spring all his beauties unfolds,
And Summer flaunts flow'ry along;
There Autumn gives treasures of gold;
There is piping, and dancing, and song.

For Mary I built there a bower,
And shelter'd it closely with trees;
I planted around it each flower,
Which I thought my dear fair one might please.
The songsters in woodland and grove,
Came flocking to visit the place:
There philomel carol'd her love,
And stock-doves did closely embrace.

I rifled each bough of its store,
To serve a repast for the maid,
Then hy'd me the green meadow o'er,
And handed my love to the shade.
My fancy she said she admir'd,
My cottage was wonderous fine:
How happily there she, retir'd,
Would live with a shepherd so kind!

There many a sweet hour have we spent,
There many a fond tale have I told;
Our treasure was peace and content,
More precious than treasures of gold.
But, alas! to my sorrow I feel,
That lasting is no earthly thing:
Our bliss is but lent us awhile,
And just hovers around on the wing.

When all I thought dear I enjoy'd,
A maid of unspeakable charms,
Then fate the gay prospect destroy'd,
And tore us from each others arms.
E'er since I have wander'd forlorn
O'er mountains all lonely and waste:
Not chear'd by the smiles of the morn,
Nor the transports of love do I taste.

[p. 432]