1769
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

A Song.

Town and Country Magazine 1 (November 1769) 609.

Celadon


A pastoral lyric in three double-quatrain stanzas, signed "Celadon." The poet compares a lover to a caged bird tamed by its mistress, who in the concluding stanza is enjoined not to abuse her authority: "Lay the care of your person aside, | From that but small comfort you'll find; | Make Prudence and Virtue your guide, | And strive to embellish your mind." This is the first pastoral ballad to appear in the Town and Country Magazine, to which Celadon was a regular contributor in its early years.



How cheerful the birds on the spray,
How jocund throughout the cool grove,
How joyful and happy are they,
While the charms of dear freedom they prove;
But when caught and confin'd to a cage,
No longer they charm with their song;
'Till tenderness softens their rage,
From the fair-one to whom they belong.

'Tis thus with the youths of the plains,
Thro' the paths of gay pleasure they rove;
'Till beauty o'er them throws her chains,
And they soon become captives to love:
Awhile they may strive hard to break
Their bondage, and wish to be free;
But finding their efforts too weak,
Contentedly lose liberty.

Then use with discretion, ye fair,
The power to you o'er man given;
The hearts of the worthy take care
To preserve as a present from heaven:
Lay the care of your person aside,
From that but small comfort you'll find;
Make Prudence and Virtue your guide,
And strive to embellish your mind.

[p. 609]