1802
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

A Pastoral Epistle. To Damon.

Lady's Monthly Museum 9 (December 1802) 427.

J. W. Smith


Four double-quatrains stanzas, signed "J. W. Smith, Tooley-Street, 8th Nov. 1802." When Damon doubts whether Pastora feels kind affections for the poet, the swain asserts his conviction of the fact, without being able to assign a reason: "Amazement bewilder'd my frame; | Confused I was, I'll allow; | But when the fair whisper'd my name, | I felt — but I cannot tell how." I have not identified the poet, who is possibly John William Smith, author of Terrors of Imagination, and other Poems (1814).



Dear Damon, you bade me to state,
Why I thought my Pastora was kind:
Attend, dearest friend, I'll relate;
For I think I've discover'd her mind:
You thought her the queen of the grove,
When the lasses all sported in May;
And bade me despair of her love;
For the charmer, you said, was too gay.

When Summer danc'd over the green,
And Phoebus had lengthen'd his reign,
As ev'ning bedew'd the dim scene,
I met the fair maid on the plain;
Enraptur'd I gaz'd on her charms;
She blush'd as I stammer'd my pain;
Her bosom heav'd high in alarms
As she strove the soft sigh to restrain.

Next morn, as I stray'd thro' the mead,
I heard her soft converse unseen;
She said, "My dear Phillis, indeed;
So he told me last night on the green."—
Amazement bewilder'd my frame;
Confused I was, I'll allow;
But when the fair whisper'd my name,
I felt — but I cannot tell how.

On fair day, a day of much glee,
Of ribbands I bought her the best:
She promis'd to wear it for me,
And wears it till now on her breast.
At shearing she pass'd by the stream,
And list'ned awhile at my song—
But now I must finish my theme,
For I see her come tripping along.

[p. 427]