1810
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Pastoral. Attempted in the Manner of Shenstone.

Universal Magazine NS 12 (April 1810) 310-11.

John Gwilliam


A burlesque pastoral ballad in six double-quatain stanzas signed "J. G. 1810." The poet pursues the stern Dollalla to no avail: "I urge her to list to my strain, | But the devil a word will she speak; | I beg her to solace my pain, | But this to her ladyship's Greek." The title suggests that this is the first in a series, but no more appeared. John Gwilliam was a regular contributor to the Universal Magazine at this time; apparently he later had a political falling out with Clio Rickman, and the magazine not only stopped publishing Gwilliam's verse, but savaged his volumes in its reviews.



Ye lovers, so sprightly and young,
Whose hearts never bitterly pine,
Who ramble the woodlands among,
Enrapt with their music divine:
O! list to my sorrowful lay,
To the tortures I'm forc'd to endure;
But if you won't hear what I say,
Why that I can't help I am sure!

I have liv'd, but alas! all in vain—
I have stuck to the fair one I chose—
I thought that she lov'd me again,
For she always kept treading my toes!
My body is scarlet and blue
With the treatment I've often receiv'd;
You may think the confession not true,
If not — I am grossly deceiv'd!

At even when the gentle gales blow,
I steal to her dwelling of clay;
And pressing her bosom of snow,
Fall down on my marrows to pray:
To beg that she'll be friendly and kind,
And yield to my tender desire;
But she swears she was never inclin'd
In the arms of a bard to expire!

I urge her to list to my strain,
But the devil a word will she speak;
I beg her to solace my pain,
But this to her ladyship's Greek:
With trouble confounded and sad
I pensively roam thro' the dale,
Then go to the cot of her dad,
To blubber my pitiful tale.

I talk of my learning and wit—
My skill in the verse-making line,
I fall in a desperate fit,
And grumble and grunt like a swine:
The mother, alarm'd at my case,
Runs swift to the neighbouring stream;
Sprinkles water all over my face,
And thus puts an end to the dream.

Awaken'd, as you may suppose,
I rush'd to the dark shady grove;
But, the last time, I fell on my nose,
Which soon put a stop to my love:
I call for the aid of my fair—
Till echo grows sick of my voice,
But, alas! Dollalolla takes care
To turn a deaf ear to my noise.

[pp. 310-11]