1778
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Daphne. A Pastoral.

Town and Country Magazine 10 (January 1778) 46-47.

W. S.


Fifteen anapestic quatrains signed "W. S." This pastoral ballad relates the happy, if somewhat sudden, betrothal of Daphne and Colin. The great majority of ballads published in the Town and Country Magazine had been of a tragical cast, a situation the poet may have in mind when he expresses his concluding wish, "Now wistfully do I relate | My sentiments free from my mind, | That every shepherd's fond mate, | Like Colin's, prove loving and kind."



'Twas close by a murm'ring rill,
Where waters meander'd along,
I plac'd me beneath a green hill,
To listen to Daphne's sweet song.

No music so gladden'd my ear,
Nor e'er did my heart so delight,
I wish'd ev'ry moment a year,
And morning might never be night.

The lambkins did gambol and play,
Delighted and pleas'd with her song;
No shepherdess e'er look'd so gay,
She's beautiful, charming, and young.

As soon as sweet Daphne gave o'er
Her pleasing melodious strain,
I did the fair damsel implore
To ease my fond heart of its pain.

I said my lov'd Daphne be kind,
And grant a fond swain his request;
Oh! cast not his sighs to the wind,
He loves you — and begs to be blest.

Then thus the fair damsel reply'd,
(So pleasing and sweet was her voice)
"No shepherd I ever espy'd
So kind, nor so worthy my choice."

With joy then to Daphne I said,
"Since you are so loving and kind,
A garland I'll weave for your head
Of roses and lilies entwin'd."

As soon as the garland I'd wove,
And given it unto the maid,
We instantly quitted the grove,
Where woodbines and amaranths shade.

Then thus I address'd my lov'd fair,
(Such innocence dwelt on her mind)
"Haste, haste, let's to Hymen repair,
That our hearts may be speedily join'd."

Then Daphne consented with joy,
And with speed we skip'd over the lawn,
No wishes my heart did annoy,
But a hasty return of the dawn.

Haste, fly ye swift minutes away,
On wings make bright Phoebus appear,
With lustre to brighten the day,
That I'm to be blest with my dear.

The morning appear'd — and the green
Enamel'd with flow'rets gay,
The birds to enliven the scene,
Did warble on every spray.

Now every sorrow is gone,
And the moments of pleasure are nigh,
And I and my Daphne are one,
My Daphne, whom none can outvie.

Now wistfully do I relate
My sentiments free from my mind,
That every shepherd's fond mate,
Like Colin's, prove loving and kind.

How pleasant my time steals away,
Nor moment's nor years do seem long,
With pleasure I pass the whole day,
Delighted with Daphne's sweet song.

[pp. 46-47]