1796
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Phillyra, a Pastoral. Written at Salop.

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

John Richardson


An occasional pastoral lyric in eight anapestic quatrains. John Richardson records a visit to the River Severn near Shrewsbury with his Phillyra: "With transport the HARBOUR among, | In KINGSLAND, on daisies we tread, | Or listen with rapture the song, | Of linnets and larks of the mead." A note informs the reader that Kingsland is "Where the different trades meet once a year, with Music, Feasting, &c. being about a Mile from the Town of Shrewsbury" 69n.



The beauty of nature my theme,
Permit, O ye Shepherds, the tone,
Permit me to pipe by your stream,
SABRINA, unrivall'd by one.

And now, — for my SCRANNEL'S in tune,
PHILLYRA may listen the while;
PHILLYRA as blooming as JUNE,
As chaste as simplicity's smile.

Behold HER — of virgins the pride,
Ye Swains! — and she's fond of my skill;
For her the young ZEPHYRS have sigh'd,
And CUPIDS frequented the hill.

Nor pinks, nor the violet's bloom,
Nor poppies the produce of MAY;
Nor the roses in CHLORIS'S loom,
Nor CHLORIS herself is so gay,

Soft innocence beams in her eye,
Resplendent, wherever we meet,
Her cheeks are AURORA'S own shy,
That crimsons 'neath PHOEBUS'S feet.

With transport the HARBOUR among,
In KINGSLAND, on daisies we tread,
Or listen with rapture the song,
Of linnets and larks of the mead.

Yon QUARRY, (ELYSIUM the scene)
Surpassing description, — sweet place!
Where bord'ring the pastures so green,
Tall Limes with their branches embrace.

There oft, we caress in the shade,
And there my PHYLLIRA and me,
In alcoves that NATURE has made,
By NATURE are taught to agree.

[pp. 68-70]