1793
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

A Pastoral Elegy. In imitation of Shenstone.

New York Magazine and Literary Repository 4 (December 1793) 757-58.

Adolphus


A foreshortened imitation of William Shenstone's Pastoral Ballad in six double-quatrain stanzas signed "Adolphus, New-York, Nov. 30, 1793." The poet had succeeded in making the fair Phillis his bride, though, alas, his happiness was not to endure: "All joy and all comfort is flown, | With Phillis they now lie entomb'd; | That love which for nature I've shown, | Has hardships and sorrow in doom." Contrary to the usual practice, he resolves to take up his crook once again and submit himself to the will of God.



JOY.
See, Shepherds, yon beautiful green,
By the side of yon wide spreading shade;
There the pride of the plain I have seen,
There, ye shepherds, with Phillis I've stray'd.
When Eve with her charms had appear'd,
And the sheep I had shut in their fold,
There with Phillis, my bosom was cheer'd,
To her my soft feelings I told.

Nor heard she my pleadings with scorn,
But return'd her poor Corydon's flame;
She smil'd like the beauty of morn,
When she heard her shepherd's known name.
I deck'd her fair breast with a rose,
When nature its folds had just spread,
When with the bright sun she arose,
And like him her sweet influence shed.

GRIEF.
O Corydon, how envied thy lot!
Sweet Phillis at length was thy bride;
But short was the transporting thought,
Ah! short was my soon vanish'd pride:
My Phillis was snatch'd from my arms;
My love she now slumbers in death;
No more is that bosom which warms,
No more the rose rivals her breath.

See shepherds, see yonder's her grave,
Where the cypress and willow combine;
They gently their drooping heads wave,
As they weep o'er my Phillis's shrine.
All joy and all comfort is flown,
With Phillis they now lie entomb'd;
That love which for nature I've shown,
Has hardships and sorrow in doom.

RESIGNATION.
Resign'd to misfortune and fate,
Oft Phillis I call to my mind;
The hardships I've suffer'd of late,
Have much the soft feelings refin'd.
I often resort to the grove,
And list to the nightingale's moan;
I oft by the water's side rove,
When the sun has descended his throne.

My crook I once more will resume,
And my pipe, which has long lain aside:
I behold resign'dly the doom
That has my dear partner deny'd.
Your shepherd receive once again,
My sheep which have wander'd astray;
Thou Pow'r who hath eas'd my keen pain,
O teach me thy goodness to pay!

[pp. 575-58]