A Pastoral.

Town and Country Magazine 8 (Supplement 1776) 711-12.


A pastoral ballad in sixteen anapestic quatrains signed "Horatio, Arundel." Pastoral ballad were all about obsessive repetition, and this is true to its kind in its rehearsal of the poet's happiness with Hebe in a pastoral landscape, his sorrows when she proves inconstant, and his desire to have his memory preserved after he has died of his grief. The figure of echo might stand for the genre at large: "Then here thro' the grove will I roam, | The grove once with joy so replete, | Its shade shall afford me a home, | And echo my moans shall repeat."

Ye shepherds, attend to my lay,
Give ear to your Florio's tale,
Who late was as blithsome as May,
And his song the delight of the vale.

When late with my Hebe how blest,
Together we roam'd thro' the grove;
Each tree and each shrub can attest
The ardor of Florio's love.

For here on the smooth flowing rhind,
Oft times wou'd I carve her fond name,
While Hebe in fondness reclin'd
By my side, seem'd to cherish my flame.

Here oft wou'd I urge my fond suit,
With songs wou'd enliven the day,
Or to please her wou'd tune my soft flute,
While Hebe approv'd of my lay.

Here oft wou'd she say with a smile,
Sufficient her meaning to shew,
(The birds seem'd attentive the while)
She'd ever be constant and true:

That the stream shou'd henceforth cease to flow,
And birds cease to chant through the grove,
That flowers in the spring shou'd not blow,
When Hebe e'er ceased to love.

More blest was no youth of the plain,
So lovely no nymph in my view,
Her words charm'd the ear of her swain,
While Hebe was constant and true.

But now, ye soft streams, cease to flow,
Ye birds, cease to chaunt your soft strain,
Cease, Flora, your flow'rets to blow,
For Hebe is false to her swain!

Then here thro' the grove will I roam,
The grove once with joy so replete,
Its shade shall afford me a home,
And echo my moans shall repeat.

No more will I tune the soft lays,
Which Hebe was pleas'd to approve,
No more shall my pipe tune to phrase,
Or charm the recess of the grove.

My lambkins at random now stray,
Unnotic'd each night, o'er the plain,
Now left to themselves fall a prey,
Or mourns the sad loss of their swain.

Come, Corin, dear friend of my heart,
Here take my last solemn adieu!
To you I'll my wishes impart,
Each secret unbosom to you;

Your friendship shall sooth my to rest,
And calm the sad grief of despair,
Hereafter my sorrows attest,
When Florio shall be without care.

In the grave let my ashes be laid,
The swains shall in pity attend,
A sigh be the tribute that's paid,
To speak this sad loss of a friend.

Convey to the ear of the fair,
Where Florio's silently laid,
Pronounce that my love was sincere,
And death hath my passion repaid.

This is my request 'ere I die,
Yet be it with tenderness told,
Perhaps she'll lament with a sigh,
"When Florio's ashes are cold."

[pp. 711-12]