1796
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Confession.

New-York Weekly Magazine 2 (17 August 1796) 56.

Anonymous


Three double-quatrain stanzas dated "New-York, August 13, 1796." In this pastoral dialogue Olivia finds Strephon altogether admirable, though she cannot make up her mind: "Then I fear, that not friendship alone, | My heart could so readily move; | Yet I'm still at a loss, I must own— | For it cannot — it must not be love." Her friend proceeds to clarify matters abruptly.



Olivia, though Strephon I praise,
His wit and good humour approve,
Though the beauty, I own, of his lays,
Yet still I may not be in love.
His merit was always allow'd,
By ev'ry gay nymph on the plain,
And I sure must be stupid or proud,
Not to join in the praise of the swain.

But when each dear look I admire,
When with raptures I list to his song,
When my heart it beats time to his lyre,
And the minutes without him seem long;
Then I fear, that not friendship alone,
My heart could so readily move;
Yet I'm still at a loss, I must own—
For it cannot — it must not be love.

To her friend thus the shepherdess said,
Who suspected a little deceit,
With smiles she reply'd to the maid,
(Resolv'd to discover the cheat,)
"Suppose he was equally charm'd,
Say, could you the shepherd approve?"
The nymph of her caution disarm'd,
With blushes confest — she could love.

[p. 56]