1786
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Simplicity. A Pastoral

New London Magazine 2 (March 1786) 157.

Anonymous


An unsigned pastoral ballad in eight anapestic quatrains that takes an allegorical turn in sketching the character of Simplicity: "Her manner is soft and refin'd, | She's free from affected disguise; | She's gentle, she's friendly, she's kind, | And sympathy beams in her eyes." Chloris and Damon are enjoined to emulate the fair maid.



Yes, here in the sylvan retreat,
Where innocence carelessly strays,
Simplicity fixes her seat,
And numberless beauties displays.

How sweet are the nymphs in her train,
While Modesty leads them along;
How pleasing the notes of the swain,
Who warbles her elegant song!

The arbours that wave in the gale,
The warblers that sing on the boughs;
The flowrets that bloom in the dale,
The stream that enchantingly flows;

The grotto's impervious glooms,
Where thick-throbbing terror alarms;
The rock where the jessamine blooms,
Acquire from her beauty their charms.

Her manner is soft and refin'd,
She's free from affected disguise;
She's gentle, she's friendly, she's kind,
And sympathy beams in her eyes.

She's deck'd in the garments of ease,
She smiles with an innocent air,
With sweetness that always must please,
With softness becoming the fair.

Would Chloris more lovely appear,
And beauty's bright graces improve;
These magical robes let her wear,
And yield to the impulse of love.

Would Damon to glory aspire,
And swell with true ardour the strain,
Simplicity's charms must inspire,
And soften the breast of the swain.

[p. 157]