1774
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

A Pastoral Song.

Weekly Magazine or Edinburgh Amusement 24 (31 March 1774) 18.

J. H.


A pastoral ballad in eleven anapastic quatrains, signed "J. H." This sad and mournful lover's complaint is more in the manner of Rowe's Collin's Complaint that Shenstone's Pastoral Ballad: "But if on a cold gloomy bier, | A pale corse in the grave I am laid, | If she'll moisten the sod with a tear, | My latest fond hope is o'erpaid." The poet was a regular contributor to the poetry column of Walter Ruddiman's Weekly Magazine.



Attend ev'ry nymph of the vale,
Whose bosom with sympathy glows,
Who can list' to a sad flowing tale,
And a tear due to pity bestows.

By the side of a murmuring rill,
That meander'd along the gay mead,
A swain at the foot of a hill
So sweetly attuned his reed.

His song was so mournfully soft,
And the cadence so pleasing did flow,
Yet a tear from his eyes trickl'd oft,
Which proceeded from anguish and woe.

At length a sad silence he broke,
And in accents so plaintive began;
He call'd on his wandering flock,
To give ear to his sorrowful strain.

"No swain once so cheerful as I,
My breast was a stranger to pain,
From my heart there escap'd not a sigh,
Till Amanda appear'd on the plain.

"O'er these meadows how oft did I rove!
These scenes, once my chiefest delight!
And the linnet, companion to love,
Welcom'd each rosy morn to my sight.

"To my crook I may as well complain,
Since she will not my passion approve;
I foolishly thought (but 'twas vain),
That Amanda would listen to love.

"Some swain may with flatt'ry prevail,
And gain an access to her heart,
But, Amanda, beware of his tale,
For 'tis surely gloss'd over with art.

"Ye swains never deem me remiss,
For my lambkins how can I endure?
May each morning shine fair on your bliss,
If from Boreas my flocks ye secure.

"But if on a cold gloomy bier,
A pale corse in the grave I am laid,
If she'll moisten the sod with a tear,
My latest fond hope is o'erpaid."

Then his head on the bank he reclin'd,
His reed it lay carelessly by;
At Amanda and love he repin'd,
And breath'd out his soul in a sigh.

[p. 18]