1776
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

To the Memory of an amiable and accomplished Lady.

London Magazine 45 (March 1776) 162.

Anonymous


An elegy, not signed, in the pastoral ballad mode, consisting of six anapestic quatrains. The distraught poet vows to abandon the country upon the death of his beloved Emma: "Adieu thou sweet health-breathing hill, | Thou can'st not my comfort restore; | For ever adieu my dear ville, | My Emma, alas! is no more." The poetry column of the London Magazine, which had never been quite equal to that of its rival, the Gentleman's Magazine, was in the middle 1770s falling on hard times as new rivals entered the field.



Adieu to the village delights,
Which lately my fancy enjoy'd;
No longer the country invites,
To me all its pleasures are void.

Adieu thou sweet health-breathing hill,
Thou can'st not my comfort restore;
For ever adieu my dear ville,
My Emma, alas! is no more.

She, she was the cure of my pain,
My blessing, my honour, my pride;
She ne'er gave me cause to complain,
Till that fatal day when she died.

Her eyes that so beautiful shone,
Are closed forever in sleep;
And mine, since my Emma is gone,
Have nothing to do but to weep.

Could my tears the bright angel restore,
Like a fountain they never should cease;
But Emma, alas! is no more,
And I am a stranger to peace.

Let me copy with fervour devout,
The virtues which glow'd in her heart;
Then soon, when life's sand is run out,
We shall meet again, never to part.

[p. 162]