1781
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Pastoral to the Memory of Mr. Shenstone.

Town and Country Magazine 13 (Supplement 1781) 716.

Anonymous


Three double-quatrain stanzas, not signed. In this curious poem Phillida, the maiden who had jilted the poet in William Shenstone's Pastoral Ballad, appears to repent of her actions: "But had I his passion return'd, | The love I had for him confest, | His death now I ne'er should have mourn'd, | Alexis and I had been bless'd." The Town and Country Magazine, which printed quite a few pastoral ballads over the years, had published a similiar poem to the memory of John Cunningham in December.



One morn as I stray'd thro' the grove,
A nymph to a shepherd did say,
"Your passion I ne'er can approve,
Kind Corydon leave me, I pray;
For I have much cause to lament,
Alexis, fond youth, is no more
For ever, adieu! to content,
His death I am doom'd to deplore.

"But had I his passion return'd,
The love I had for him confest,
His death now I ne'er should have mourn'd,
Alexis and I had been bless'd:
The season of pleasure is o'er,
Alas! it is follow'd by pain,
Alexis, fond youth, he is dead,
Each shepherd repeats on the plain.

"My Phillida, oft would he say,
Oh! pity a lover sincere!
The birds seem'd to list' on the spray,
When he did his passion declare.
But, Corydon yonder I see,
The lasses that follow the bier;
Adieu! I a mourner will be,
His grave I'll bedew with a tear."

[p. 716]