1761
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Complaining Lover.

Royal Magazine or Gentleman's Monthy Companion 4 (January 1761) 42-43.

R. R.


A pastoral ballad in four double-quatrains stanzas signed "R. R." The poem is a lover's complaint: "The hills vocal sound, when I sigh, | My moan in sad echo repay; | Why then is my fair one, ah why! | More deaf, more hard-hearted than they?" The Royal Magazine, while it survived for more than a decade, never achieved much distinction as a literary journal.



Bewailing I heard on the plain
A shepherd thus utter his grief;
Thou love, cruel love, art my pain,
For love I can find no relief.
Not Venus begot thee, I know;
For Venus is yielding and free,
But nurs'd on some mountain's cold brow,
A tygress thy mother must be.

Ah, why hast thou doom'd me to burn
For one, who no pity will show?
Where nought I can hope in return,
Nor dare to complain of my woe.
The hills vocal sound, when I sigh,
My moan in sad echo repay;
Why then is my fair one, ah why!
More deaf, more hard-hearted than they?

In vain flow my numbers to please,
And move other nymphs of the plain,
When she, who alone can appease
My flame, give no ear to the strain.
If nought but my passion I own,
Of love, or some token express,
My converse she flies with a frown,
And leaves me the wind to address.

This kindness of Cupid I crave,
If pity his bosom e'er sway'd;
To lay me soon down in the grave,
Or give to my arms the dear maid.
Then, swains, my sad story relate,
My lov'd cruel fair when you see,
Pray tell her, if death be my fate,
That death has more pity than she.

[42-43]