1786
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

On a Young Lady's quitting the Country to live in Charleston.

Charleston Morning Post and Daily Advertiser (25 March 1786).

Anonymous


A pastoral ballad in six anapestic quatrains, not signed. Jockey complains that his Nancy has abandoned the innocence of the country for the pleasures of town life in Charleston: "Then, O my dear NANCY, beware, | Nor tempt the base arts of undoers, | Too surely they lay out a snare | For bosoms as artless as your's." In keeping with the genre, the geographic specificity of the title is not, of course, reflected in the poem.



Ah! why from the woodlands retire?
Why plunge amidst folly and noise?
Has NANCY forgot to admire,
Those plains and their innocent joys?

Ah! can she abandon the grove,
And haste from her JOCKEY away?
Shall the friend that she used to love,
In vain solicit her stay?

Can pomp to her bosom give ease?
Can pleasure her pastime improve?
Can the language of flatt'ry please;
Like the language of friendship and love?

Then, O my dear NANCY, beware,
Nor tempt the base arts of undoers,
Too surely they lay out a snare
For bosoms as artless as your's.

Ah! come, and we'll wander along
Yon streamlet that waters the vale,
And hark, to the shepherd's sweet song
That floats in the evening gale.

Can NANCY then bear to depart?
Will she haste from her JOCKEY away?
Can she suffer the friend of her heart,
In vain to solicit her stay?

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