1795
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Jemima, in Reply to Kadanda.

Federal Orrery 2 (18 May 1795) 238.

Jemima


A burlesque pastoral ballad in eleven iambic quatrains signed "Jemima." This lover's complain consists almost entirely of a series of silly similes: "I mourn like a dove all the day, | And my face is grown lean as a rake; | My body is so pined away, | That I'm almost as poor as a snake." The Federal Orrery was a twice-weekly newspaper published in Boston. It reprints the poem from the Eastern Herald, where Kadanda's pastoral entitled "Cant Phrases" originally appeared. That poem, printed in the Federal Orrery 11 May, is illegible on microcard.

Argument: "JEMIMA talketh pathetically. She admonisheth the nymphs, and chargeth KADANDA with falsehood. Speaketh of former chearfulness, prancing and coltishness. She compareth herself to an arrow and a butterfly. Representeth KADANDA as gazine and whining. Introduceth rare similies, and talketh of new milk and of pumpkins. She looketh gray and lean. Her eyes become red and blind. JEMIMA approacheth nigh unto death."



Ye nymphs, who unthinkingly rove,
As merry as crickets at eve;
Beware of Kadanda's false love,
For the shepherd will surely deceive.

I once was as cheerful as you,
And pranc'd like a colt o'er the plain,
While swift as an arrow I flew,
I laugh'd at each amourous swain.

My locks were as black as a crow,
And I dressed like a butterfly gay;
My skin was as white as the snow,
And I sung like a lark all the day.

As unfix'd as the wind, or the weather,
I car'd not a fig what was said;
My heart was as light as a feather—
But now is as heavy as lead!

For of late as I rambled the grove,
KADANDA I met the mean while;
He gaz'd — whin'd — and talked of love,
That I thought his words smoother than oil.

His eyes were as blue as the sky,
And his ringlets were softer than silk;
His bosom was big with a sigh,
And his heart seem'd warm as new milk.

His passion he swore was as strong
As mustard, as firm as a rock,
That his love should continue as long—
I believed every word that he spoke!

He now has forsaken me quite,
Some other Jemima to follow;
But her favours the traitor will slight,
For his heart like a pumpkin is hollow.

I mourn like a dove all the day,
And my face is grown lean as a rake;
My body is so pined away,
That I'm almost as poor as a snake.

My locks are grown grey as a rat,
Which the swains us'd to praise and admire;
And my eyes are blind as a bat,
And with weeping become red as fire.

Thus flat as a pan-cake I lie,
By love, cruel love I'm undone;
I am sick as a horse, and shall die
For KADANDA, as sure as a gun.

[p. 238]