1790
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Addressed to Miss —.

Connecticut Courant and Weekly Intelligencer (8 March 1790).

Anonymous


A pastoral elegy in six double-quatrains stanzas. Hylas, introduced to the lovely Laura by her brother, faces the prospect of perpetual unhappiness: "Alone, now I roam in the fields, | And think on the days that are o'er, | Reflection no happiness yields, | And the prospect's a sea without shore." The Connecticut Courant was a weekly newspapers published in Hartford; in the previous quarter-century of its existence it had published very little poetry, though latterly the Connecticut Wits had become a presence in its pages. The poem is not signed.



The meadows, the groves, and the plains,
Invited to wander abroad,
The birds sweetly warbled their strains,
And flowrets adorn'd the green sod;
The sun shed his last parting ray,
And ting'd the small clouds with the light,
The air breath'd the fragrance of May,
And nature enchanted the sight.

By the side of a smooth winding stream,
Which water'd a small pleasant vale,
Young Hylas awoke from a dream,
And pour'd forth his heart-rending tale—
Ah why was my fate thus severe!
Her gifts why did Fortune deny!
Alone, I must drop the sad tear,
In secret must languish and die.

Her heart fill'd with friendship and love,
In grandeur fair Laura was born;
Her soul was a pure as the dove,
Her bosom as tranquil as morn.
Fair science adorn'd her bright mind,
Truth, beauty and wealth were her own,
Her breast was as angels refin'd,
Her form scarce by angels outdone.

One brother to Laura was dear,
As the stream that enlivens her frame;
That brother lov'd Hylas sincere,
Nor blush'd to acknowledge the flame.
How oft has the youth with delight,
Enraptur'd my soul with her charms,
How oft in the visions of night,
I have folded the maid in my arms.

Why with me did Eugenius unite,
In the bonds of true friendship and love?
Ah why does a source of delight,
A source of keen misery prove?
The youth led me in as a guest,
A smile the fair maid did bestow,
That smile banish'd peace from my breast,
And left me the partner of woe.

Alone, now I roam in the fields,
And think on the days that are o'er,
Reflection no happiness yields,
And the prospect's a sea without shore—
No calm can the tempest remove,
Which rages within my fond breast,
For tho' poor I forever must love,
Till I reach the last haven of rest.

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