1782
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Shepherd's Despair. Pastoral.

Flora's Banquet. A Collection of Poems. Vol. I.

Anonymous


A pastoral ballad in five double-quatrain stanzas appearing in a collection of Irish poems, not signed. The poet, who once mocked Milo's lack of success in love, now finds himself in even worse straits: "Tho' my sighs with neglect she regards, | Tho' my tears she unheeded regards, | Tho' my pray'rs she with taunting rewards, | Yet LAURA still, still I adore!" Only one volume of this anthology edited by John Tisdall appeared; he was afterwards editor of the Dublin Mercury (1783-84) and the Northern Star (1792-97).



Cease, memory, cease to recall,
The raptures which lately were mine,
When LAURA, tho' sigh'd for by all,
To me, to me only was kind!
I rose with the lark in the morn,
And merrily sung all the day;
No shepherd was ever yet born,
So blith, so enamour'd so gay.

When MILO lamented his fate,
And call'd giddy JENNY untrue,
I banter'd his dastardly gait,
And told him I'd teach him to woo:
Ah! little I dreamt that my fair,
Would leave me in sorrow to sigh;
Now, now is my time for despair!
Than MILO more wretched am I.

At no festive sports now I'm found,
Which us'd my gay hours to solace;
Deep solitude shrouds me around,
And thoughtfulness ruins my peace.
I shun now the transparent brook,
Which formerly pleas'd me the most,
Because it reflects my wan look,
So alter'd — I seem like a ghost.

In vain I to music resort;
Books, too, I apply to in vain;
For love in my breast keeps his court,
And triumphs — in spite of disdain.
Tho' my sighs with neglect she regards,
Tho' my tears she unheeded regards,
Tho' my pray'rs she with taunting rewards,
Yet LAURA still, still I adore!

Then, shepherds, I'll bid you adieu,
No more my complainings shall teize;
The pity I meet with from you,
But heightens my hopeless disease.
To the bosom of some gloomy grove,
Alone, I'll in silence retire,
(The last, sad resource of true love!)
And, blessing fair LAURA, expire.

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