1778
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

A New Song.

Weekly Magazine or Edinburgh Amusement 41 (9 September 1778) 254.

T. T.


A pastoral ballad in four double-quatrain stanzas signed "T. T. Melrosensis, Banks of Tweed." Phillida has fallen in love with country pleasures, and the shepherds and shepherdesses have fallen in love with Phillida: "The damsels in simple attire | Adore the bright nymph as their queen; | Each shepherd beholds with desire: | Such beauty sure never was seen." But Phillida choses Colin among all the rest.



When the sweet briar hedges inclose,
And hawthorns incircle the vale,
Perfum'd with the scent of the rose,
And balmy wing'd breath of the gale;
Remote from the pert and the gay,
Unknown to the pride of the town,
Young Phillida loveth to stray
Where happiness villagers crown.

When she heard first the songs of the grove,
The notes of the nightingale flow,
She swore that such raptures of love,
Such joys she could never forgo.
Now she leads up the dance on the green,
To the timbrel's melodious sound,
With so soft, so engaging a mein,
Her gesture waves magic around.

The damsels in simple attire
Adore the bright nymph as their queen;
Each shepherd beholds with desire:
Such beauty sure never was seen.
The graces attend on her walk:
Her face is for ever a smile;
'Tis transport to hear her but talk;
A heaven of love is her style.

By all the bright sweets of the plain,
By the bird that inhabits the grove,
She's promis'd that Colin's the swain,
The idol and god of her love.
My banks are adorned with flow'rs,
My fields cover'd over with green;
And see how they open their bow'rs
And branches to shadow their queen.

[p. 254]