1792
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Shepherdesses Complaint.

The Diary, or Woodfall's Register (10 October 1792).

Alexis


A pastoral elegy in eight anapestic quatrains signed "Alexis." Daphne mourns the death of Damon, who has been lost at sea: "The ivy shall hang down my crook, | And creep round the door of my shed: | The maidens shall mark my pale look, | For DAMON, dear shepherd, is dead!" The poem is specified "For the Diary," where Alexis was a regular contributor at this time.



The meadows with flowrets were drest,
All nature look'd pleasant and gay;
The maids of the Hamlet were blest,
And happiness usher'd the day.

"Fair DAPHNE sat pensive alone,
No gladness adorn'd her wan face;
The roses were faded and gone,
And lillies appear'd in their place.

"My DAMON'S departed," she said,
"He sleeps in the womb of the deep,
No sorrows can waken the dead!
But still I continue to weep!

"My flock o'er the mountains will stray,
Whilst DAPHNE sighs sadly alone:
No pastimes can brighten the day,
Since DAMON requires me to groan.

"The cypress I'll wreath for my head,
Regardless of pleasure I'll rove;
O'er rocks flinty bosoms I'll tread,
And ask of the billows my love.

"Ye billows attend to my prayers:
Relent and re-murmur my cries;
Ah! be not unmov'd by my tears,
'Tis DAPHNE, lorn DAPHNE that sighs!

"The ivy shall hang down my crook,
And creep round the door of my shed:
The maidens shall mark my pale look,
For DAMON, dear shepherd, is dead!

"Of my sheep quite neglectful, I'll sing
Reclin'd on the bank of some stream,
My griefs all the woodlands shall ring,
And DAMON shall still be the theme!"

[unpaginated]