1796
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Happy Swain.

Poems on Various Occasions, chiefly Pastoral, by J. Richardson, a Yorkshire Volunteer.

John Richardson


A pastoral ballad in six anapestic quatrains by a former military man, presently the master of the Free School at Sheffield Park. The concluding stanza echoes John Cunningham's "Content, a Pastoral": "As muse, she engages my song, | My hours now are happily spent; | The Shepherds I'm envied among, | But care not — I'm wed to CONTENT."



Recall'd from the brink of despair,
As light as a feather my mind;
Dissolved in the winds all my care,
Now PHILLIS has vow'd to be kind.

As blithesome, and chearful as May,
Together we range o'er the green;
Her beauties I pipe all the day,
All night I embrace her, my Queen.

Such innocent fondness, ye swains,
The great ones are strangers unto;
And Kings, (for we live on the plains)
But rarely such happiness know.

If daisies I pluck for her hair,
Or bil-berries bring from the rocks;
She smiles! — a reward! — the sweet fair,
And welcomes me back to the flocks.

A WREATH, now my Charmer has wove,
Of myrtle, and woodbine, and bays;
[Fond token of conjugal love]
And, "take it my Shepherd" she says.

As Muse, she engages my song,
My hours now are happily spent;
The Shepherds I'm envied among,
But care not, am wed to CONTENT.

[pp. 9-10]