1776
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Complaint.

Weekly Magazine or Edinburgh Amusement 32 (25 April 1776) 146-47.

Aenigma


A pastoral ballad in ten anapestic quatrains signed "Aenigma, Glasgow, April 1776." The poet complains of a clever but perfidious lover: "My days of delight are no more! | No all hope of comfort is gone! | Forsaken I'm left to deplore! | She's wedded, and I am undone!" The furor for pastoral ballads continues unabated in the Weekly Magazine; Aenigma would become a regular offender.



Ye shepherds who sport on the plains,
Blythe, innocent, chearful and gay,
O listen a while to my strains,
And weep for a moment with me!

My Daphne was lovely and young,
More chaste and than the queen of the grove,
Wit flow'd like a stream from her tongue
Her charms fill'd my bosom with love.

And while she my passion repaid,
I lov'd the dear charmer sincere,
To please her all arts I essay'd,
On earth she was all I held dear.

When with her in summer I stray'd,
How quickly the minutes flew by!
And when we reclin'd in the shade,
How chearful — how happy was I!

How happy oftimes have I been,
When my head on her breast I reclin'd:
She never affected disdain,
But smil'd and was modestly kind.

But, ah! how unhappy a swain
Am I! since she's broke ev'ry vow;
What anguish — what torturing pain,
I for her dear sake undergo!

At midnight when all are asleep,
And eas'd from their labours and cares,
Alone without ceasing I weep,
And drench my sad bosom with tears.

And when the bright sun in the east,
In golden apparel appears,
Still — still I'm with sorrows opprest,
And still I'm bedew'd with my tears!

My days of delight are no more!
No all hope of comfort is gone!
Forsaken I'm left to deplore!
She's wedded, and I am undone!

[pp. 146-47]