1760 ca.
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Happy Husband.

London Magazine NS 1 (October 1783) 323.

Charles Sackville


A pastoral ballad in four double-quatrain stanzas. The poet, after suffering the anxieties of courtship, is now a Happy Husband: "But now all this folly is o'er, | Since Phoebe to me has prov'd kind, | I sigh and I languish no more, | But contentment in every thing find." The poem is attributed in the London Magazine to "the late Duke of Dorset." That would be the second duke, Charles Sackville (1711-1769). Early in life he had taken the Grand Tour with Joseph Spence as his guide; presumably these posthumously-published verses were of much later invention. The poem may have first appeared in Henry Maty's New Review, founded in 1782.



How fresh does the morning appear,
The musick how sweet from the grove,
Oh! how blest is the swain that is clear
From the pains of unsatisfied love.
No slumber these eyes ever knew,
Whilst Phoebe remain'd unpossess'd;
From friends and companions I flew,
A stranger to friendship and rest.

My sheep, by their shepherd forsook,
Lag, pent in their fold till mid-day,
Whilst I by the side of a brook
Would complain the dull hours away.
Not all the gay flowers of the field,
Whose sweetness perfum'd the soft air,
A joy to my senses could yield,
Unless the lov'd Phoebe were there.

Alas! silly swain, how I burn'd,
Sure passion like mine ne'er appear'd;
When absent, her absence I mourn'd,
When present, her absence I fear'd.
But now all this folly is o'er,
Since Phoebe to me has prov'd kind,
I sigh and I languish no more,
But contentment in every thing find.

Full joy in her presence I have,
But her absence now breaks not my rest;
For with her dear person she gave
Me her heart, to lock up in my breast.
Oh! how chearful my flocks now I guide,
At noon where to taste the fresh streams,
Whilst I sing to the tune of Tweed side,
On the pleasanter banks of the Thames.

[p. 323]