1788
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Amanda's Complaint, a Pastoral: occasion'd by a young Gentleman in the Army going abroad with his Regiment.

Poems on Various Subjects, in Scots and English. By James Macaulay.

James Macaulay


A pastoral ballad in four double-quatrain stanzas. Amanda bewails the departure of Damon and anxiously awaits his return: "But here, now, alas! I must mourn | The absence of him I adore, | And anxiously wait his return | To me, and fair Scotia's shore." There is some winning simplicity in the last quatrain.



Ah! can I bid Damon adieu?
Alas! must my swain and I part?
In vain ev'ry pastime I woo,
To ease the deep wound in my heart!
Farewell, ye sweet meads of delight!
Ye streams, that meandering flow!
Your Damon is torn from my sight,
And left his Amanda in woe.

Ye shepherds, that dance on the plain,
With spirits unclouded and fair,
Your sports fill Amanda with pain,
For why? her fond shepherd's not there;
O blest were our moments of love,
With rapture we spent the long day;
All Nature our mirth did approve,
And smil'd on our innocent play.

But here, now, alas! I must mourn
The absence of him I adore,
And anxiously wait his return
To me, and fair Scotia's shore:
'Tis glory that calls him from home;
His courage is spread far and wide;
His laurels are quite in their bloom,
And shall in full blossom abide.

Each day I attend on my flock,
Each night that I do them enfold,
Shall aid me the gods to invoke,
My favourite swain to behold:
O soon may he fill these fond arms,
When honour hath crowned his name,
And sent him to feast on those charms,
So due to his valour and fame!

[pp. 107-08]