1774
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

A Pastoral Ballad.

Weekly Miscellany or Instructive Entertainer 3 (3 October 1774) 21-22.

Anonymous


A pastoral ballad in six double-quatrain stanzas signed "***, near Plymouth, Sept. 22." A bashful swain is caught in a double-bind when the fair Phillis denominates his modesty affectation: "She still will humility brand | With the terms of self-love and of pride; | When my pride's to obey her command, | And to lay my best gifts by her side." The Weekly Miscellany, published in Sherborne in Dorsetshire devoted many of pages to original poetry, chiefly of rebuses, riddles, and conundrums.



Ah leave me, my flocks, and begone;
Far remove from your shepherd and flie!
For alas! he is lost and undone—
And alone let him languish and die.
I was proud, cruel Phillis averr'd,
Too fond of myself e'er to please:
And I've hated myself since I heard
Such charges imputed as these.

That my modesty was but a cloak
The affirm'd imperfection to hide;
Affectation she never could brook;
And my silence a mark but of pride:
On these faults she so charmingly dwelt,
Almost I had sworn she was right;
None e'er can describe what I felt,
The grief that she gave and delight.

But with charges like these do not kill,
And do not my silence reprove;
Tho' my tongue, yet my eyes were not still,
And be sure they were talking of love.
Twas diffidence ty'd up my tongue,
Admiration of thee held me mute;
I forgot both my pipe and my song
When I heard thee so sweetly dispute.

None beauty (she said) should e'er prize!
I heard her sweet voice and believ'd;
But I look'd on her face with surprize,
And wonder'd I could be deceiv'd.
Not beauty! — then Daphne replied,
All hearts should submit to her shrine:
Both appealed to me — and I sigh'd—
For Phillis and beauty had mine.

I ne'er could dissemble a smile
When sorrow corroded my heart,
And my tears did not mean to beguile
When from Phillis I wept to depart.
But ah! what availeth my love,
What avails that I mourn thus and sigh?
Phillis ne'er will my passion approve,
Altho' with that passion I die.

She still will humility brand
With the terms of self-love and of pride;
When my pride's to obey her command,
And to lay my best gifts by her side:—
Of its sweets I would pillage the plain,
I would strip the fair grove of its bloom;
I would live but her favour to gain,
And depend on her smiles for my doom.

[pp. 21-22]