1787
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

A Pastoral.

New Lady's Magazine, or, Polite, Entertaining, and Fashionable Companion for the Fair Sex 2 (May 1787) 265.

T. T. S.


A pastoral dirge in nine anapestic quatrains signed "T. T. S., Birmingham." Content has fled and Delia is in despair at some unnamed misfortune that has separated her from her shepherd: "When at eve from the mead he return'd, | He to none had his sorrows reveal'd; | Neglectful his fair-one he spurn'd, | Yet his woes in his breast he conceal'd." The New Lady's Magazine had a particularly large poetry column that printed a very indiscriminate selection of original verse.



Why thus murmurs the bubbling brook?
Why mournful are Philomel's strains?
Why see I the meads thus forsook?
Why has gladness withdrawn from the plains?
Sure Misfortune has enter'd this cot,
Yes, these paths she has guilefully trod,
And Content, from Retirement's fond spot,
Abash'd, at her presence is fled.

See, stray'd are yon sheep from their folds,
See, they wander afar without guides,
Their numbers no longer retold,
Repeated misfortune divides.
Amidst paths, in that prospect so dear,
They climb up the hill's craggy steep,
Or (their bleatings no longer I hear)
Are plung'd by sad fate in yon deep.

For, alas! their fond shepherd's away,
From his flock and his crook was he torn,
Though contented he pass'd thro' the day,
And joyfully hail'd each new morn;
For now as the flowret he wove,
To braid his lov'd Delia's hair,
Misfortune's sad voice through the grove
He heard, and thence welcom'd despair.

When at eve from the mead he return'd,
He to none had his sorrows reveal'd;
Neglectful his fair-one he spurn'd,
Yet his woes in his breast he conceal'd:
And, though oft was the sorrowing tear
Of pity by Delia shed,
'Twas in vain, her attempts to endear
Were unnoticed, contentment was fled.

Yesternoon she reclin'd on yon bank,
'Neath the willow that hangs o'er the brook;
From the stream of that riv'let she drank,
But now these fond haunts are forsook:
Forsook too the daisy-pied green,
Where the first in the care-killing dance,
By the villagers hail'd their fair queen,
Crown'd with flow'rets, she oft would advance.

For in misery, a wand'rer, forlorn,
Now is Delia, once pride of the plain,
In her breast dire affliction's sharp thorn,
Distraction has seiz'd on her brain:
Soon her sorrows on earth must have end,
Yet awhile from yon village deckt spire
The bell the sad summons shall send,
To warn her from hence to retire.

'Tis so, for yon eglantine falls,
And droopingly withers the rose;
See the jess'mine too shrinks from those walls,
It's beauties no more to disclose:
See the lilies are robb'd of their white,
And the woodbines and vi'let are dead,
No more will their fragrance invite,
Rural nymphs 'midst these meadows to tread.

Hush'd too is the sound of yon mill,
See the birds flee these coverts in flocks;
Hark, silent's the tinkling rill,
Which arose near the foot of those rocks.
Then since nought I but sadness descry,
Ye woods spread your branches apace,
To your deepest recesses I fly,
I would hide with the beasts of the chace.

Yet bring flowers to strew round their urn,
Ye shepherds who travel anear,
Oh! constant at morn hither turn,
For their sorrows to shed the sad tear;
Then your meadows shall ever be gay,
And your flocks from yon plain none shall lure;
Then shall innocent mirth through the day
From Misfortune's fell inroads secure.

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