1790
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Pastoral Elegy. Addressed to a Young Lady.

Town and Country Magazine 22 (July 1790) 329.

Amphion


A pastoral ballad in ten iambic quatrains signed "Amphion, Cumberland." Edwin despairs at the death of his lover and than, in the manner of Gray's Elegy, imagines another shepherd who will compose an elegy for himself: "Ye rocks that o'erlook the still shore, | Where oft he reclin'd his sick head; | Ye echo his music no more, | For Edwin, your Edwin, is dead!" A note informs the reader that "The original is much longer, which being mutilated may occasion the appearance of some of the passages being unconnected."

Headnote: "Sir, If the following pieces may be thought worth your notice, you may insert them in your next Magazine. And as I have by me several new essays both in prose and verse, I hope may of some service to you, and contribute something towards the cheap and excellent ordinary which you set before the public monthly. You will please to signify next month whether you are willing to receive my favours, free of expence to myself; for on any other terms I cannot positively remit you any other of my contributions. I am, sir, Your most obedient humble servant, Amphion" p. 329.



On a rock by the river reclin'd,
A youth was thus heard to complain,
While his harp warbled sweet to the wind,
And gave echo the sorrowful strain.

"All lost and abandon'd to care,
Distracted, ah! where shall I fly
To evade the rude hand of Despair,
To be hid from stern Misery's eye.

"In vain do I court the still scene—
There fancy pourtrays the dear maid,
And amidst the sweet landscape serene,
Despair lurks in every shade.

"Unheard and unheeded along,
Meanders the musical stream,
Unheeded the lark tunes his song,
And soars as he warbles his theme.

"Ye winds as ye winnow the air,
As ye sing thro' the high-waving grove,
Ah! could ye but whisper my fair
How well, how sincerely I love.

"But cease, my fond bosom, ah! cease,
Life's winter will soon pass away,
And again the sweet sunshine of peace,
Shall glow with a ne'er-fading ray.

"And when o'er my moss-cover'd urn,
My harp in dumb sorrow shall lay;
Some friend o'er my ashes shall mourn,
And tenderly sighing shall say:

"'Ye poplars that wave on the hill,
Your branches all solemn along;
Ye firs of the woodland be still,
For your wandering Edwin is gone!

"'For no more he will muse in the grove,
All lost and abandon'd to care:
No more he will think on his love,
And sigh in the chains of despair.

"'Ye rocks that o'erlook the still shore,
Where oft he reclin'd his sick head;
Ye echo his music no more,
For Edwin, your Edwin, is dead!'"

[p. 329]