1792
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Storm; or, Pastoral Simplicity.

Weekly Museum 4 (10 March 1792).

Rinaldo


Twelve iambic quatrains signed "Rinaldo, March 3." The conjugal conversation in this anti-pastoral poem makes makes for an unusual pastoral ballad. As it storms outside, Delia proposes they rise "and go to some happier climes, | Where nor winter, nor tempest appears." The poet rather churlishly responds, "'Tis the pride of your sex; yet oft cold is that breast, | When it sees real objects of grief, | That sighs at the mere fancied tale of distress, | And gen'rously wishes relief." Perhaps his impatience has something to do with the tide of mawkish Della Cruscan love-poetry that had been appearing in this newspaper. "The Storm" presents a variation on a theme developed by John Cunningham in his popular "Content, a Pastoral." The Weekly Museum, published in New York, published original and translated verse.



Good heav'ns! my Delia, how loud blows the storm
Hear blast after blast, how they roar!
Like waves rolling on, when their course they perform,
And successively dash on the shore.

Unhappy the Man, now who tost on the seas,
To his fate turn your pitying eyes;
What a contrast! — we sit in the corner at ease,
While he braves both the billows and skies.

Ah little avails our compassion and fears,
Pity calms not the loud surges roar;
Nor filial prayers, nor conjugal tears;
Wife and children may see him no more!

Distressing idea! — Some man too whom cares
Had oblig'd from his household to roam,
Who broods o'er the life, hope and joy of his years
In vain beats the tempest for home.

Say Delia, does not thy sorrowful heart
Ever weep at misfortunes and woe?
Yes, sighs will arise, — and the languid pearls start;
They're taught, and submissive they flow.

'Tis the pride of your sex; yet oft cold is that breast,
When it sees real objects of grief,
That sighs at the mere fancied tale of distress,
And gen'rously wishes relief.

Strange conduct! — "Rinaldo what terrible blasts!
The world seems all tempest and snow;
Loud rages the storm; and how long it may last,
Rinaldo nor Delia know.

"Let's rise then and go to some happier climes,
Where nor winter, nor tempest appears,
Where freed from the troubles and cares of the times,
Our pleasures wou'd roll on in years.

"Sweet prospects of happiness dawn in my breast;
Methinks, by some murmuring stream,
While soft zephyrs fan us, on flowers we rest,
While Eden and Eve are the theme.

"But in those cold regions what bliss can we find?
Rough Winter here nature deforms;
Continual troubles will harrass our mind;
Snow falls — clouds arise — Boreas storms."

Cease, Delia cease, 'tis in vain to complain;
Misfortunes and troubles will fall;
No station of life is exempted from pain,
And this is the fortune of all.

Then rest here contented, nor think to remove,
Content with your lot, ask no more;
And while the storm thunders terrific above,
Then think of and pity the poor.

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