1805
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Corydon and Mira.

Spirit of the Public Journals for 1805 (1806) 290-91.

Anonymous


A lover's complaint in seven and a half double-quatrain stanzas, not signed. The hapless Corydon sighs in vain for Myra before deciding that all is hopeless: "Then die hated youth — life's career, | Arrest in a watery grave, | O'er thy fate she may shed a sad tear, | Though the lover she scorned to save." There follows an unexpected twist in the last stanza. The Spirit of the Public Journals, published in Baltimore, collected poetry and articles from American periodicals.



On the banks of a smooth flowing stream,
There sat a young, beautiful swain,
Disappointment in love was his theme,
And he sent forth this sorrowful strain.
"Oh Mira, delight of my eyes
What maiden with thee can compare,
Alas! love-sick Corydon dies,
By thy cruelty, hard hearted fair.

"What though, I am lowly and poor,
Others rich, and in rank rather high,
Thou wilt not find one that has more,
Of love, and affection than I.
Oh Mira, can thousands of gold,
Can even the mines of Peru,
Can greatness indiff'rent or cold
Ever equal the heart that is true.

"How happy! before I had seen,
Thy blush, like the roses of morn,
Thy air — that of beauty's sweet queen,
Or the dimples thy cheeks that adorn:
Thy ringlets, that flow with such grace,
Thy bosom a lily so white,
Heard thy voice which more music conveys
Than Philomel songster of night.

"Before that unfortunate day,
The hours mov'd swiftly along,
With the shepherds so cheerful and gay,
I danc'd to the pipe and the song.
Now Flora and Zephyr in vain,
Attending the spring of the year,
Deck with flow'rets, and verdure the plain,
They all dismal as winter appear.

"In vain where the rivulet flows,
At the foot of the sycamore tree,
As usual I strive to repose,
Alas! there's no comfort for me.
If in woods or in myrtle alcoves,
I wander, or thoughtful recline,
The birds while they warble their loves,
Cause with envy my breast to repine.

"Through the grove every breeze seems to sigh,
How strongly it dwells on my mind,
Ah! Corydon why don't you die,
Thy Mira is false and unkind.
Then die hated youth — life's career,
Arrest in a watery grave,
O'er thy fate she may shed a sad tear,
Though the lover she scorned to save."

He sung, and the flocks on the plain,
Felt compassion on hearing his moan;
From the bank where he sat, wretched swain!
He arose and walk'd leisurely home!
He to hang himself afterwards chose,
But in vain sent to neighbours around
For a halter to end all his woes—
So he lives still — quite merry and sound.
Yet fortune look'd on him with frowns,
With Cupid he oft was at strife,
'Till and Old Woman worth ninety pounds,
So pleas'd him, he made her his wife!

[pp. 290-91]