1794
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Pastoral, in the Welsh Manner.

Poems, Lyric and Pastoral. In Two Volumes. By Edward Williams

Edward Williams


A lover's complaint in seven double-quatrains stanzas: "But long is my comfortless hour; | Dark mazes of anguish I trace; | My charmer is not in the bow'r; | She flies from her Colin's embrace." The Welsh component of this crisply-turned pastoral ballad would seem to consist of the addresses to the lark and the nightingale, though perhaps more notable is the poet's boasting in the first two stanzas; like the Colin of the poem Edward Williams had indeed been dividing his time between the woodlands of Wales and the plains of London.

American Monthly Review [Philadelphia]: "On the whole, these volumes merit attention, and afford much amusement: but we think that the really ingenious author would better have consulted the permanence of his reputation by suppressing a portion of his effusions, and by making public only his more select productions" 1 (April 1795) 382.



Invoking the Genius of Song,
Amid the green wood-lands I rove;
And call my new fancies along
To paint the warm feelings of Love.
More charming than aught on the plains,
When Summer's new beauties appear;
O! Phillis! the best of my strains
Are tun'd for thy musical ear.

Now, known for my pastoral note,
I rank with the Sons of the Muse;
On plains and in valleys remote,
Applause my new carol pursues:
And whilst, by the shepherds admir'd,
The song or the sentiment warms;
'Tis, all by thy beauties inspir'd,
The tribute I owe to thy charms.

More cold than the snows of the pole;
More lovely than mornings in May;
Thou, Phillis, dear nymph of my soul,
Art flown from thy lover away:
And here, in dejection, I mourn;
No joys to my bosom are known;
But, grieving, I wait thy return,
And wander in thickets alone.

Now Spring, ever dear to my heart,
Has mantled the meadows and groves;
And, quitting the mansions of Art,
I dwell in these woodbine alcoves.
But long is my comfortless hour;
Dark mazes of anguish I trace;
My charmer is not in the bow'r;
She flies from her Colin's embrace.

Thou, Lark, that, forsaking the lawn,
With song art ascending the skies;
Go meet the sweet fulgence of dawn,
Attend it wherever it flies:
Observe, where a beauty supreme,
Out-rivals all efforts of Art;
'Tis Phillis, for ever my theme;
'Tis Phillis, the nymph of my heart.

Return, thou sweet minstrel of morn,
Proclaim to these woodlands around;
Where, treating new lovers with scorn,
May Phillis, my fair one, be found:
I dread neither mountain nor waste,
Nor storms that are throng'd in the sky;
But, speeding on pinions of haste,
I to my dear charmer will fly.

'Tis dark, the gay birds are asleep,
And only the Nightingale wakes;
With her my sad vigils I keep;
With her I will mourn in the brakes:
Thou, soother of anguish extreme,
O, Sleep! thy soft moment impart;
For, thou canst restore, in a dream,
My Phillis awhile to my heart.

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