A Pastoral.

British Magazine and Monthly Repository 3 (November 1762) 609.


A love complaint in five double-quatrains stanzas, not signed. Phillis is gone, and the poet, recalling the pleasant time they spent together, years to be reunited. The insistent repetition so prominent in the pastoral ballad genre is here worked into the narrative of events: "Each day I revisit the glade, | Or seek the retreats of the grove; | Where oft with my Phillis I stray'd, | And told the soft tale of my love." The British Magazine, not to be confused with a similar publication of the same name that had folded a decade earlier, published original and reprinted poetry and a considerable number of rebuses.

Walter Graham: "For a distinct advance over predecessors in quality of matter, we must look to the British Magazine of Tobias Smollett and Oliver Goldsmith (January 1760-December 1767). The Life and Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves ran serially through the earlier numbers, usually given the first place in its columns. Although the British Magazine was larger than the average miscellany, most of its matter was of an unliterary nature. Yet there were the score of articles from the pen of Oliver Goldsmith, notably his 'History of Mrs. Stanton,' a series of articles on the belles-lettres, and his best-known essay, 'Reverie at the Boar's Tavern in Eastcheap' — as well as serial novels, oriental tales, biographies of men like Addison and Betterton, accounts of theatrical performances and actors, reprinted essays from the Idler, and an essay attributed to Johnson, on the bravery of English common soldiers, which was added to later editions of the Idler essays. John Huddlestone Wynne, later of the Lady's Magazine was a member of the staff of the British, also" English Literary Periodicals (1930) 177-78.

While blest with the smiles of my fair,
What transports I felt at my heart!
With mine what delights could compare,
'Till forc'd from my Phillis to part:
Tho' far from the charmer remov'd,
Her image still dwells on my mind;
With sighs I reflect how we lov'd,
How beauteous she was and how kind:

Each day I revisit the glade,
Or seek the retreats of the grove;
Where oft with my Phillis I stray'd,
And told the soft tale of my love:
Each tender endearment I try'd,
With fondness she strove to outdo;
And still in soft contest we vy'd
Whose flame was most lasting and true.

How frequent I rose with the morn,
And e'er to my charmer I hy'd,
For flow'rets, her breast to adorn,
I robb'd the gay mead of its pride;
How sweet the reward of my toil,
When the nymph I so tenderly lov'd;
The present receiv'd with a smile,
And all my fond labours approv'd.

No blossom, 'tis true might compare
With the roses display'd on her cheek;
Nor lily, or snowdrop so fair
To equal the hue of her neck:
Yet one half in her bosom she plac'd,
And forming a wreath with the rest;
The head of her shepherd she grac'd;
Was ever fond shepherd so blest!

But now my dear Phillis is gone,
These transports no more I enjoy;
With her all my comforts are flown,
My passion no time can destroy:
Kind fortune, thy aid I implore
These moments of bliss to regain,
Oh! send back the nymph I adore,
Or to her conduct her fond swain.

[p. 609]