1765
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Wretched Shepherd.

Court, Country, and City Magazine 1 (March 1765) 653-54.

L. P.


A pastoral ballad in ten anapestic quatrains, signed "L. P." Phoebe suggests to Colin that he erect a house and a garden, and the youth prepares for his wedding day: "With the lark in the morning I rose, | (My thoughts were too busy to rest) | I hasted to put on my cloaths, | In my holiday suit I was dress'd." But, alas, he arrives at her cottage on the fatal day only to discover that the fair Phoebe had died. The ballad concludes with a pretty conceit addressed to the painters. The Court Magazine would fold in November, having survived for four annual volumes.



"'Tis a token dear Colin, of love,
To admire my favorite spot;
And since so indulgent you prove,
Let's hasten and here raise a cot.

"Gay roses shall here show their pride,
There, myrtles shall bloom in a row;
Sweet violets I'll plant on each side,
Before them the primrose shall grow."

Thus Phoebe would talk for awhile,
To pleasure her listening swain,
O! then she'd ingagingly smile,
And tell the dear story again.

Since now my past pleasures I've told,
T' my sorrows ye shepherds give ear,
Nor blame me while them I unfold,
If for Phoebe I drop the fond tear.

We'd fixt for our wedding a day,
Let the nymphs and the shepherds all know,
Before us the swains were to play,
While their damsels sweet flow'rs should strow.

With the lark in the morning I rose,
(My thoughts were too busy to rest)
I hasted to put on my cloaths,
In my holiday suit I was dress'd.

Impatient to have the dear prize,
O'erjoy'd to her cottage I fled;—
But judge ye fond youths my surprize,
When told my dear Phoebe was dead!

Since that I have wander'd in pain,
Neglecting my once tended sheep,
Yet, when I cross over the plain,
I sighing look on them, and weep.

Ye painters whose province is woe,
If useful to shepherds you'ld be,
Come paint all the torments I know,
That swains may hereafter be free,

To each let a picture be shown,
Or hung on some tree in each grove,
And that its intent may be known,
Write under "occasioned by love."

[pp. 653-54]