1779
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

To Miss —.

Weekly Magazine or Edinburgh Amusement 46 (8 December 1779) 255-56.

T.


A pastoral lyric in six double-quatrain stanzas signed "T., Banks of Loch Katren, Nov. 12." The poet loses his sense of contentment when an old flame appears on the plains: "The dryads have fled from my grot, | See peace and contentment depart! | Nor, as wont, can the wood-songster's note | Bring peace and content to my heart."



Ah cruel! to visit our plains,
Sweet plains, 'ere my charmer I view'd;
Was it kind to rekindle the flames,
Which, hopeless, were almost subdu'd:
As spirits when lately remov'd
Hold a place in the heart of each swain,
I lov'd you, and still must have lov'd,
Without either transport or pain.

Again on the banks of the stream,
In the shade of the half-wither'd oak,
I could almost refrain from your name,
And forget how you charm'd when you spoke:
Again all reclin'd in the grot,
From the boughs of the neighbouring tree,
When the linnet and thrush tun'd the throat,
They began to have pleasure for me.

When the sun peep'd out after a show'r,
And freshness breath'd over the vale,
More gay blush'd the dew-ting'd flow'r,
More sweet trill'd the goldfinch's tale;
The sweets of the glades, and the grove,
The fragrance that flush'd in the air,
Brought back the soft infl'ence of love,
The dear moments I stray'd with my fair.

As when heav'n with tidings of peace,
Sent an angel to visit the plain,
The glories that beam'd from his face,
Fill'd with rapture the breast of the swain;
So when you appear'd in the vale,
The graces seem'd with you to move,
I forgot — ah the sad mournful tale!
I forgot, — I still hopeless must love.

With rapture I gaz'd on your charms,
Cool reason stood loitering near,
I wish'd so much grace to my arms;
Ah! why are you formed so fair!
Fair hope ever quick to beguile,
With fancy still apt to disguise,
Each feature had form'd to a smile,
And pointed the darts from your eyes.

The dryads have fled from my grot,
See peace and contentment depart!
Nor, as wont, can the wood-songster's note
Bring peace and content to my heart.
The vales, where well-pleas'd I might rove,
Shall echo my plaints as I mourn,
Since, hopeless, I ever must love,
Since thus you have left me forlorn.

[pp. 255-56]