1791
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Daphne to Emma, on her intending to leave the Country and reside in the City.

Universal Magazine 88 (January 1791) 64.

Anonymous


A pastoral ballad in three double-quatrain stanzas, signed "Delia." Daphne implores Emma not to abandon the virtuous plain for the wicked city, and offers a cautionary example: "Shall Maria's sad fate be in vain? | Shall we practise the faults we deplore? | She too would depart from the plain— | But she never knew happiness more." While pastoral lyrics of friendship were less common than those of the erotic variety, many were published.



Ah! why from these woodlands retire?
Why plunge amid folly and noise?
Has Emma forgot to admire
These plains and their innocent joys?
Ah! will she abandon the grove,
And haste from her Daphne away!
Shall the friend, whom she once deign'd to love,
In vain then solicit her stay?

Can the pleasure, which cities impart,
Compare with the pastoral plain—
Where Nature still governs the heart,
And Truth and Simplicity reign?
Can Pomp to the bosom give ease?
Can Fashion our pleasures improve?
Can the language of flattery please,
Like the language of friendship and love?

And oh, my lov'd Emma! beware—
Nor tempt the base arts of undoers;
Too surely they spread out the snare,
For bosoms so artless as yours.
Shall Maria's sad fate be in vain?
Shall we practise the faults we deplore?
She too would depart from the plain—
But she never knew happiness more.

[p. 64]