Spring. A Pastoral.

Town and Country Magazine 14 (January 1782) 47.


A pastoral lyric in five pastoral-ballad quatrains, not signed. The lyric compression and anapestic measure suit this brief description of the season of Spring very well. Pastoral had been incorporating georgic elements such as the seasons and seasonal labor since the Shepheardes Calender; by the 1780s the two modes were merging into something like one genre.

See! Winter once more quits the plains!
And Spring does their verdure restore;
How pleas'd are the nymphs and the swains,
Since now the cold season is o'er.

The streams now flow swiftly again,
The ice now dissolves in the flood,
The trees now their foliage regain,
For see yon green neighbouring wood!

Now Hodge with the milk-maid appears,
And carries her pail with much glee;
She smiles, when his love he declares,
How blest and contented is he!

The shepherds repair to the plain,
From whence they long absent have been;
With pleasure they meet there again,
And dance round their flocks on the green,

With Daphne I visit the grove,
The birds all so chearful appear,
And warble the songs of the their love,
To welcome the spring of the year.

[p. 47]