1788
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

A Pastoral.

New London Magazine 4 (February 1788) 99.

D.


The character of a happy swain in four double-quatrain stanzas, signed "D." The poem is more of a retirement ode than a pastoral ballad: "With joy he his Phillis beholds, | Unaccustom'd to rancour or spite; | To the plains he his feeling unfolds, | In raptures of rural delight." This poet also has a pastoral "Song" in the anapestic measure printed on the same page. The New London Magazine was receptive to unprepossessing verse.



At the vernal approach of the year,
The birds they delightfully sing;
Nature's flow'rets in graces appear,
And the grottoes with melody ring:
The swain of all cares unpossest,
Views his flocks on their verdant abode;
As he views he seems happily blest,
No cares can his peace incommode.

He rises at dawn of the day,
And carelessly trudges along;
To drive dissipation away,
He whistles, or muses a song:
With joy he his Phillis beholds,
Unaccustom'd to rancour or spite;
To the plains he his feeling unfolds,
In raptures of rural delight.

The emblem of innocent love,
The lambkin alertly displays;
Concordant their murmurs they move,
To nature addresses of praise:
With gayness their pastimes combine,
By the fountains their gambols they play;
Co-mutual their pleasures conjoin,
Sweet pleasures, that brook no allay.

Mankind in expectance pursue
The bubbles of honor and fame,
And eagerly seek to renew,
The shadowy boasts of a name;
Whilst the shepherds and swains of the grove,
In contentment and happiness reign;
Exempt from all passions — but love,
And nothing their joys to restrain.

[p. 99]