1775
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Blush. A Pastoral Poem.

Sentimental Magazine 3 (August 1775) 372.

Dr. William Perfect


A pastoral ballad in six double-quatrain stanzas signed "Mallingiensis, Aug. 7, 1775." Leander, missing Patty in the village, repairs to the cottage of her father Celadon (the poet's friend) in search of the bashful maiden: "Her looks beam'd intelligence fair, | They spoke in an eloquent style, | Expressively serv'd to declare | Leander might soften his toil." The poet forces Patty to acknowledge her affection for Leander, which occasions the title of the poem. Perhaps the intrusive syntactical inversions in this poem are intended to convey something of the bashfulness of an indirect expression of love.



For happiness shall I explore
Yon structure, of riches the seat?
Or cross the smooth green to the door
Of Celadon's shady retreat:
There health with her roses in bloom,
Vermillions the cottager's cheek,
Contentment to comfort gives room,
In chearfulness rises to speak.

There center the sweets and the joys,
No sorrow, no anguish, or strife
The humble retirement annoys,
Of nature, the throne and the life;
There labour, in undisturb'd rest,
Enjoyment soft woos to her arms,
While peace sheds her balms on the breast,
Expands her Elysium charms.

Of industry virtuous the roof,
Leander in rapture has ey'd;
The palace he guess'd was a proof
Of care gilded over with pride.
In Celadon's rural recess
He pictur'd the charms of his heart,
There innocence triumph'd to bless
In Patty unconscious of art.

'Twas ev'ning, most calm and serene,
The dance was call'd up in the glade,
But Patty was not on the green,
She sigh'd in the sycamore shade.
Leander, the star of his mind
He saw as the garland she wove;
His pipe and his tabor resign'd
Repair'd to the seat of his love.

With fervor of passion her hand
He kiss'd, and demanded the cause
Why thus from the gay village band
His Patty so mournful withdraws?
Her looks wore intelligence fair,
They spoke in an eloquent stile,
Expressively serv'd to declare
Leander might soften his toil,

Might lavish soft praise on her form,
He did, and of Hymen exclaim'd
To gentle persuasion soon warm,
Ye fair, could young Patty be blam'd?
I saw the sweet maid of his joy,
Leander, I cry'd, ever hush
Each care that her peace would destroy,
He bow'd, and she gave me a BLUSH.

[p. 372]