1775
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Absence. A Pastoral.

London Magazine 44 (August 1775) 431.

I. H.


A pastoral ballad in seven anapestic quatrains, signed "I. H., Winslow." This lover's complaint distils the usual imagery: "Neglected my lambkins now stray, | In vain doth each flow'ret appear; | In vain too the meadows look gay, | Since Phillis (fair maid) is not here!"



When forc'd from the maid I adore,
What torments oppress my fond heart!
Yet in vain I her absence deplore,
Since by fate we are destin'd to part.

No longer we range the gay fields,
Where vi'lets and primroses grow;
Where nature each fragrance yields,
And streams in soft murmurings flow.

Depriv'd of my Phillis's charms,
No pleasure, alas! can I find;
No peace I enjoy from her arms,
Nor to mirth am I ever inclin'd.

Neglected my lambkins now stray,
In vain doth each flow'ret appear;
In vain too the meadows look gay,
Since Phillis (fair maid) is not here!

Ye shepherds who, blest with content,
Each day in tranquillity spend;
O cease not my fate to lament,
Since my sorrows in absence can't end.

The landscapes no longer delight,
No murmuring rills give repose;
How joyless each day and each night,
And the plain is the scene of my woes!

O Phillis! then come to my arms,
Thou lovely, engaging, sweet fair;
For when I am blest with your charms,
Then only I'm free from despair.

[p. 431]