1770
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

To —.

Town and Country Magazine 2 (August 1770) 441.

Anonymous


A pastoral ballad, not signed, in four double-quatrain stanzas. This lover's complaint strives to sound biographical, and largely succeeds; it is the unusual poet who complains of his physical appearance: "Stern nature, to blast my repose, | And banish all hopes of my ease, | No charms on my person bestows, | Nor aught on my form that can please."



Ah! who shall declare my distress?
Shall I call for the aid of the Nine?
Nor they nor their God can express
An anguish so cutting as mine!
Have my eyes not discover'd my woe?
Or are her's to their language so blind?
Nay — looks are too feeble to shew
The cruel despair of my mind!

Stern nature, to blast my repose,
And banish all hopes of my ease,
No charms on my person bestows,
Nor aught on my form that can please:
While fate's unrelenting decree
To deepen my misery strove,
By giving me eyes that could see,
By giving an heart that could love.

Soon, soon shall she quit the gay scene—
Sing poets in fanciful lay,
How her absence has darken'd the plain,
How the shrubs and the flow'rets decay:
How the sweet gushing riv'let is dry,
That murmur'd so softly along—
—And I too will join you — but I
Will give truth to the fabulous song.

For, ah! with what truth may I sing
How the flow'r of my hope is decay'd:
And how, in life's earliest spring,
My blossoms of happiness fade!
And how the sweet fountains of joy,
That water'd my fancy all o'er,
Those fountains, eternally dry,
Shall flow, and shall murmur no more!

[p. 441]