R. L. R. had published "The Forsaken," a love complaint, in Town and Country Magazine 3 (Supplement, 1771) 713. In these three stanzas, signed "Strephon," the poet offers some comfort: "Thus deign, my dear Colin, again | To visit with friendship my cot: | Alleviate my bosom from pain, | In thee let all care be forgot." R. L. R. would respond with three answering stanzas the following month.
How pleasingly glided my days,
When Colin cou'd banish each care:
My woodlands resounded his praise,
I gave all distress to the air.
With hearts bound in friendship we rov'd,
Nor fear'd the approach of the night;
His presence alone then I lov'd,
Each scene still renew'd my delight.
My kidlings they sport in the mead,
My flocks now are teeming with young:
The dance of the green oft I lead,
Or sooth my despair with a song.
But still in thy absence I find,
Each bliss as imperfect at best;
I picture my friend in my mind,
While doubts are disturbing my breast.
Thus deign, my dear Colin, again
To visit with friendship my cot:
Alleviate my bosom from pain,
In thee let all care be forgot.
Then roving we'll waste the long day,
Each choose out the damsel he loves;
If Phoebus his splendour display,
With jollity seek the alcoves.