1796
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Delia: a Pastoral Elegy.

The Works of Peter Pindar, Esqr. in Four Volumes. Volume IV.

Dr. John Wolcot


A pastoral lyric by "Peter Pindar" in five anapestic quatrains. Wolcot strives for a degree of originality here, and as was increasingly the case in the 1790s, foregoes the "pastoral" in his elegy while adding a dollop of verisimilitude. This is one of several pastoral lyrics in this 500-page volume, an appendage to three already published. The critics ignored it. A decade earlier Wolcot had been the most popular (and notorious) poet in England, though his proper media were newspapers and pamphlets rather than the collections he attempted to turn to his profit.



Lo, the pride of the village is dead!
Lo, the bloom of our vale is no more!
Now SORROW sits dumb in the shade,
Where RAPTURE oft carol'd before.

Like the Morn, she enliven'd the groves;
Like the Summer, gave life to the swain;
For her smile was the seat of the LOVES,
And her voice the sweet song of the plain!

O DELIA, divine is thy name!
Thy merits we all shall revere;
We shall dwell with delight on thy fame,
And think of thy loss with a tear.

Ev'n our children shall lisp in thy praise!
Their Instructress shall INNOCENCE be;
Who their little ambition shall raise,
To resemble a Fair-one like Thee.

Though lodg'd in a Church-yard so drear
Which the yew-tree surrounds with its gloom;
Thy virtue a sun shall appear,
And thy graces be flow'rs on thy tomb.

[pp. 380-81]