1778
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

A Song.

Weekly Magazine or Edinburgh Amusement 42 (14 October 1778) 87.

Philo


A pastoral ballad in three double-quatrain stanzas signed "Philo, Dumfries." Though the matter is conventional, Philo exibits powers of lyric compression not always seen in this popular genre: "All that's lovely in nature or art | To my senses quite tasteless are grown; | Nor can beauty again fix my heart, | Since Phoebe no more is my own." This Song is among the ballads owing more to Rowe's Collin's Complaint that to Shenstone's Pastoral Ballad.



How sweetly my moments did glide!
How gaily my time past away!
While Phoebe was still by my side,
And her company sweet'ned each day:
While she gave all that virtue could ask,
As we walk'd the green meadows along:
While to please my dear fair was my task,
And her beauty and charms were my song.

All around us our flocks gently gaz'd,
Nor inclin'd from their pasture to rove:
The virgins and swains on us gaz'd—
All envied our content and our love.
But how chang'd does the scene now appear,
Since Phoebe is false to her swain,
For me gay spring swells not the year;
And the morning sheds fragrance in vain.

All that's lovely in nature or art
To my senses quite tasteless are grown;
Nor can beauty again fix my heart,
Since Phoebe no more is my own.
Ye swains who such anguish have try'd;
When death shall conclude my despair,
On my tomb write: "Here's Colin who dy'd
For Phoebe the false and the fair."

[p. 87]