1772
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

R. L. R. to Strephon.

Town and Country Magazine 4 (March 1772) 158.

R. L. R.


R. L. R. answers the three stanzas "Strephon" had addressed to him in the previous month's Town and Country Magazine by returning the compliment: "Wou'd Fortune but lead me to you, | And all my kind wishes approve; | Oh! then we'd those moments renew, | Those moments of friendship and love." The imagined worlds of pastoral poetry had been used to evoke little societies since early days; the ease with which pastoral ballads could be composed and communicated to the periodicals encouraged these sorts of exchanges.



Ah! Strephon, once blithest of swains,
How plaintive thy elegant song!
Indeed no more glad are the plains,
The plains to which Pleasures belong!
My absence can never deprive
Each swain of that spirit and mirth,
Which spoke our assemblies alive—
Not such is our friend's social worth.

'Tis true, I delighted to rove,
Along the green meadows and fields,
When we told of the transports of love,
And the raptures which jollity yields;
Yet ne'er cou'd my presence alone
Be the source of such rapturous joys;
Then cease, my dear friend, to bemoan,
The youth who your care thus employs.

Wou'd Fortune but lead me to you,
And all my kind wishes approve;
Oh! then we'd those moments renew,
Those moments of friendship and love:
For neither can absence nor noise,
Your image erase from my mind,
So lasting and pure are the joys
Which in Strephon's dear presence I find!

[p. 158]