1796
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Pastoral.

Columbian Herald or, the New Daily Advertiser (26 April 1796).

Gavin Turnbull


A pastoral lyric in four double-quatrain stanzas "by Mr. G. Turnbull, of the City Theatre." The poet regrets the absence of his lover. This song, presented as "select poetry," presumably made its first appearance in Scotland: "But come, thou dear nymph, to my arms | Who canst ev'ry soft passion inspire; | And Tweed shall resume all its charms, | When bless'd with the maid I admire." Turnbull's poetry had been appearing in this South Carolina newspaper on a very regular basis in 1796.



Far distant, Eliza, from thee,
The joy, the delight of mine eyes,
How sad is my heart when I see
The hills that between us arise:
Tho' prospects romantic are here
That the breast of a poet might fire,
How gloomy and sad they appear
When unbless'd with the maid I admire.

Flocks bleat on the brow of the hill
Where maids at the milking sing blythe;
Loud echoes the clack of the mill,
In the meadow, the swain whets his scythe:
Joy gladdens the summer deck'd vale,
Where all to delight us conspire;
But my sighs load the murmuring gale,
When unbless'd with the maid I admire.

Here youths who are bless'd in their loves
With maids that are blooming and fair,
Retire to the depth of the groves,
Love's innocent pleasures to share;
Whilst I, in most sorrowful plight,
From these scenes of contentment retire,
Ah! what can afford me delight,
When unbless'd with the maid I admire?

Let poets in pastoral lays,
Make Tweed's pleasant valleys their theme;
Yet none of sad Corydon's praise,
These haunts, once so lovely, can claim.
But come, thou dear nymph, to my arms
Who canst ev'ry soft passion inspire;
And Tweed shall resume all its charms,
When bless'd with the maid I admire.

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