1810
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Villager

Monthly Repository of Theology and General Literature 5 (June 1810) 307.

P.


A pastoral ballad in three double-quatrain stanzas signed "P." In this poem the usual imagery of the genre is linked to sentiments that begin to sound rather like Burns's Cotter's Saturday Night: "In support and defence of the land | That yields such enjoyment to me, | Undaunted by menace I stand, | To preserve uncorrupted and free." The Monthly Repository was a long-running Unitarian periodical that published poetry on an occasional basis. Its chief fare at this period consisted of theology and biographies of dissenting clergymen.



At the door of my straw cover'd cot,
The rose and the jessamine blend;
Each tree that o'ershadows the spot
Is dear to my heart as a friend.
Its course from the first noble donor
From father to son, can we trace,
For ages the seat of fair honour,
Content, independence, and peace.

The lark, to enliven our toil,
High-mounting in extasy sings;
No med'cine our appetites spoil,
Health ever from industry springs.
Kind fortune permits to extend,
Tho' she give not a superfluous store,
A jug and a crust to a friend,
A morsel to gladden the poor.

The trav'ller at fast falling night
The smoke of my cottage surveys,
And journeys with bosom more light,
Secure of refreshment and ease.
In support and defence of the land
That yields such enjoyment to me,
Undaunted by menace I stand,
To preserve uncorrupted and free.

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