1801
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Pastoral Ballad.

Lady's Monthly Museum 7 (September 1801) 207-08.

James Atkinson


A pastoral ballad in three double-quatrain stanzas signed "James Atkinson, Author of Rodolph, a Poetical Romance." The poem is unusual in employing long anapestic lines and employing a variable refrain: "Yet Delia, so fair, might Horatio disdain, | Did she know how he loves, tho' of humble degree." I have not found information about the poet, who also published The Aubid: An Eastern Tale (1819).



In a snug rural cot at the foot of yon hill
Lives Delia, the toast of each amorous swain;
There I've heard, sadly pensive, the clack of a mill,
And the soft tinkling streamlet that waters the plain;
For the spot seem'd a Heaven where Delia had been;
There I sigh'd, and her name have I carv'd on a tree;
Yet Delia, so fair, might Horatio disdain,
Did she know how he loves, tho' of humble degree.

What swain could behold so enchanting a face,
And not feel, like Horatio, the transports of love!
When she trips o'er the lawn with such exquisite grace,
And her chantings resound thro' the echoing grove;
Then, elated with joy, I bound over the plain
With my pipe and my crook, who so happy as me?
Yet Delia, so fair, might Horatio disdain,
Did she know how he loves, tho' of humble degree.

In silence, ah! let me my passion control,
If her rank won't admit such affection as mine;
So pure, so sublime, it enlarges the soul,
And yet I must sigh, must unnotic'd repine.
But why should I sigh, and thus fondly complain?
She knows not her name was engraven by me;
Sure — Delia could never Horatio disdain,
He so ardently loves, tho' of humble degree.

[pp. 207-08]