1773
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Corydon and Amynta. A Pastoral Elegy.

Weekly Magazine or Edinburgh Amusement 21 (19 August 1773) 241.

W. R.


Seven double-quatrains stanzas signed "W— R—, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Aug. 2." The poet laments the passing of a gentle-hearted shepherdess who was kind to her servants: "So soft she was wont to preside, | Each domestic around her was blest." In a more graceful departure from the fictions of the pastoral ballad genre, the poet gives us a glimpse of the local landscape: "From yonder umbrageous tree | The nightingale saddens the vale, | While the rocks that are wash'd by the sea, | Resound to our sorrowful tale."



Come, shepherds, let's visit the urn
Where the breathless AMYNTA is laid:
Each shepherdess surely will mourn,
When she hears that Amynta is dead.
Her temper was mild as the breeze
That westerly fans the noon-day;
Her converse ne'er failed to please,
And her presence drove sorrow away.

Her heart was estranged to pride;
Humanity dwelt in her breast;
So soft she was wont to preside,
Each domestic around her was blest.
Beneficence oft she bestow'd
On those who were worthy her care,
And her bosom with sympathy glow'd
For those who were sunk in despair.

How patiently did she sustain
The pangs she was doom'd to endure,
Till death put an end to the pain
Which medicine failed to cure!
How oft from her CORYDON'S eyes
Did the fears of affection distream!
How plaintive each day were his sighs,
When no hopes of recov'ry were seen!

How oft with the dawn of the morn
Delighted she's travers'd these plains,
While the birds sweetly sung on each thorn,
And echo reply'd to their strains!
In yonder sequestered shade,
Where meand'ring glides the clear rill,
These landscapes she's often survey'd,
While nature around her was still.

No more shall the beauties of spring
Revive to compare with her charms,
Nor warbler to please her shall sing,
Nor CORYDON spring to her arms.
The seasons return now in vain
Since the lovely AMYNTA'S no more;
Those scenes serve to heighten our pain,
That were wont to give pleasure before.

See Nature attend to our strains,
And pity our solemn distress:
The wind sadly howls through the plains,
And the vallies our sorrows express.
From yonder umbrageous tree
The nightingale saddens the vale,
While the rocks that are wash'd by the sea,
Resound to our sorrowful tale.

Each ev'ning we'll rosemary strew
Along the extent of her grave,
And mingle our tears with the dews
That fall o'er her turf, which they lave.
Each morn we'll re-visit her urn,
And early our orisons pay;
While echo responsive shall mourn,
And join in the grief we display.

[p. 241]