1771
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

To —.

Town and Country Magazine 3 (July 1771) 384.

W. Hannaford


A pastoral ballad in four double-quatrain stanzas signed "W. H—d, Totnes, June 17." The lyric is the complaint of a slighted lover, and what is perhaps worse, a slighted poet: "Had she never permitted my praise, | When reclin'd on her bosom I hung: | Had she never been fond of my lays, | Had she never applauded my song." In a departure from convention, the offending lady is not given a pastoral name; Hannaford even suppresses his own name, though it appears subscribed to another poem on the same page.



Can a heart that is bursting with grief,
Find ease by relating its woe?
Can my bosom e'er hope for relief,
While my sorrows continue to flow?
Alas! tho' no succour be near,
From sighing I cannot refrain;
And a tear still enforcing a tear,
My eye-lids incessantly strain.

O! cou'd I these torments now quit!
Cou'd I chase but her form from my mind!
But why shou'd I wish to forget
That once she was gentle and kind?
That fate in the play-day of youth,
To my nonage should be so severe,
To cause me to love her with truth!
To cause me, alas! to despair!

Oh! whence are the moments of bliss
We spent where the eglantines grow?
Or where the sweet innocent kiss,
She then was so kind to bestow?
Gone, gone — I shall prove them no more,
With my blossoms of hope are they fled;
That hope I was fond to adore!
Now blasted, now wither'd, and dead.

Had she never permitted my praise,
When reclin'd on her bosom I hung:
Had she never been fond of my lays,
Had she never applauded my song:
O! then had my heart been at rest,
Which now must for ever endure,
An anguish which can't be exprest!
An anguish she only can cure.

[p. 384]