1781
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Pastoral to the Memory of Mr. Cunningham.

Town and Country Magazine 13 (December 1781) 661.

Anonymous


Four anapestic quatrains, not signed, celebrate the memory of John Cunningham (1729-1773), who popularized the pastoral ballad in the 1760s: "Ye nymphs, that reside on the plain, | Attend to the voice of despair; | Come mourn for your pastoral swain, | And drop to his mem'ry a tear." A similar poem to the memory of William Shenstone, presumably by the same writer, was published in the Supplement for 1781. Compare Cunningham's own "Corydon, a Pastoral to the Memory of William Shenstone" (1763).



Ye nymphs, come attend to my song,
Regret your lov'd pastoral swain,
Accustom'd to join in the throng,
When chearful ye danc'd on the plain.

Reclin'd at the foot of a thorn,
By the side of a murm'ring stream,
The woes of a shepherd forlorn,
How often have they been his theme.

The swain that is faithful and true,
The nymph that is constant and kind,
Who love's disappointment ne'er knew,
As often his theme will you find.

Ye nymphs, that reside on the plain,
Attend to the voice of despair;
Come mourn for your pastoral swain,
And drop to his mem'ry a tear.

[p. 661]