1796
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Stanzas in the Style of Shenstone.

Walker's Hibernian Magazine (March 1796) 280.

Anonymous


A particularly grumpy lover's complaint in three double-quatrain stanzas, not signed: "My heart swells with rancour and spleen, | To him that has won o'er her love; | And whilst other's dance o'er the green, | I sullenly stalk through the grove." One notes that there are no sheep or shepherds in this pastoral ballad, the "style of Shenstone" referring to the topic and stanza.



While the lass of my heart did remain,
Still constant and faithful to me;
From sorrow, from envy and pain,
My breast was entirely free.
But now that she's fled from my arms,
And gone — gone for ever away!
My rival has bliss with her charms;
She's left me to weep night and day.

My heart swells with rancour and spleen,
To him that has won o'er her love;
And whilst other's dance o'er the green,
I sullenly stalk through the grove.
From eve to the blush of the dawn,
I'm restless, I weep and I moan;
Then rise and stray over the lawn,
Unheeded — unpitied — along.

They tell me variety's charms,
Can banish or lessen the pain;
We feel when we're forc'd from the arms,
Of those whom we love but in vain.
But ah! 'tis all folly to say,
When love once takes root in the breast,
And is cross'd, that by night or by day;
We can ever find comfort or rest.

[p. 280]