Page images


And work the simple vassal's mickle woe; One ancient hen she took delight to feed,
For not a wind might curl the leaves that blew, The plodding pattern of the busy dame;
But their limbs shudder'd, and their pulse beat Which, ever and anon, impell’d by need,

Into her school, begirt with chickens, came! And as they look'd they found their horror grew, Such favor did her past deportment claim : And shap'd it into rods, and tingled at the view. And, if Neglect had lavish'd on the ground

Fragment of bread, she would collect the same ; So have I seen (who has not, may conceive) For well she knew, and quaintly could expound, A lifeless phantom near a garden plac'd ;

What sin it were to waste the smallest crumb she So doth it wanton birds of peace bereave,

found. Of sport, of song, of pleasure, of repast; They start, they stare, they wheel, they look Herbs too she knew, and well of each could speak aghast;

That in her garden sipp'd the silvery dew; Sad servitude! such comfortless annoy

Where no vain flower disclos'd a gaudy streak; May no bold Briton's riper age e'er taste!

But herbs for use, and physic, not a few, Ne superstition clog his dance of joy,

Of grey renown, within those borders grew: No vision empty, vain, his native bliss destroy. The lufted basil, pun-provoking thyme,

Fresh baum, and marigold of cheerful hue; Near to this dome is found a patch so green, The lowly gill, that never dares to climb; On which the tribe their gambols do display; And more I sain would sing, disdaining here to rhyme And at the door imprisoning-board is seen, Lest weakly wights of smaller size should stray; Yet euphrasy may not be left unsung, Eager, perdie, to bask in sunny day!

That gives dim eyes to wander leagues around; The noises intermix'd, which thence resound, And pungent radish, biting infant's tongue; Do Learning's little tenement betray;

And plantain ribb'd, that heals the reaper's wound; Where sits the dame, disguis'd in look profound, And marjoram sweet, in shepherd's posie found; And eyes her fairy throng, and tums her wheel And lavender, whose spikes of azure bloom around.

Shall be, erewhile, in arid bundles bound,

To lurk amidst the labors of her loom, Her cap, far whiter than the driven snow,

And crown her kerchiefs clean, with mickle rare Emblem right meet of decency does yield:

perfume. Her apron dy'd in grain, as blue, I trow, As is the hare-bell that adorns the field:

And here trim rosemarine, that whilom crown'd And in her hand, for sceptre, she does wield The daintiest garden of the proudest peer ; Tway birchen

sprays; with anxious fear entwin'd, Ere, driven from its envied site, it found With dark distrust, and sad repentance fill’d: A sacred shelter for its branches here ;

And sted fast hate, and sharp affliction join'd, Where edg'd with gold its glittering skirts appear, And fury uncontrold, and chastisement unkind. Oh wassal days! O customs meet and well!

Ere this was banish'd from his lofty sphere : Few but have kennd, in semblance meet por- Simplicity then sought this humble cell, tray'd,

Nor ever would she more with thane and lordling The childish faces of old Eol's train;

dwell. Libs, Notus, Auster: these in frowns array'd, How then would fare or Earth, or Sky, or Main, Here oft the dame, on Sabbath's decent eve, Were the stern god to give his slaves the rein? Hymned such psalms as Sternhold forth did mete, And were not she rebellious breasts to quell, If winter 't were, she to her hearth did cleave, And were not she her statutes to maintain,

But in her garden found a summer-seat; The cot no more, I ween, were deem'd the cell, Sweet melody! to hear her then repeat Where comely peace of mind, and decent orderdwell. How Israel's sons, beneath a foreign king,

While taunting foemen did a song entreat, A russet stole was o'er her shoulders thrown; All, for the nonce, untuning every string, A russet kirile fenc'd the nipping air;

Uphung their useless lyres—small heart had they "Twas simple russet, but it was her own;

to sing 'Twas her own country bred the flock so fair! "Twas her own labor did the fleece prepare ; For she was just, and friend to virtuous lore, And, sooth to say, her pupils, rang'd around, And pass'd much time in truly virtuous deed ; Through pious awe, did term it passing rare; And in those elfins' ears, would oft deplore For they in gaping wonderment abound,

The times, when Truth by Popish rage did bleed; And think, no doubt, she been the greatest wight on And tortious death was true Devotion's meed; ground.

And simple Faith in iron chains did mourn,

That nould on wooden image place her creed ; Albeit ne Nattery did corrupt her truth,

And lawny saints in smouldering flames did burn: Ne pompous title did debauch her ear;

Ah! dearest Lord, foresend, thilk days should e'er Goody, good-woman, gossip, n'aunt, forsooth,

return. Or dame, the sole additions she did hear; Yet these she challeng'd, these she held right dear: In elbow-chair, like that of Scottish stem Ne would esteem him act as mought behove, By the sharp tooth of cankering eld defac’d, Who should not honor'd eld with these revere : In which, when he receives his diadem, For never title yet so mean could prove,

Our sovereign prince and liefest liege is plac'd, But there was eke a mind which did that title love. The matron sate; and some with rank she grac'd, (The source of children's and of courtiers' pride!) By turns, astonied, every twig survey, Redress'd affronts, for vile affronts there pass'd; And, from their fellow's hateful wounds, beware;

And warn’d them not the fretful to deride, Knowing, I wist, how each the same may share , But love each other dear, whatever them betide. Till fear has taught them a performance meet,

And to the well-known chest the dame repair; Right well she knew each temper to descry ; Whence oft with sugar'd cales she doth them greet, To thwart the proud, and the submiss to raise ; And ginger-bread y-rare; now certes, doubly sweet! Some with vile copper-prize exalt on high And some entice with pittance small of praise, See to their seats they hie with merry glee, And other some with baleful sprig she 'frays: And in beseemly order sitten there ; E'en absent, she the reins of power doth hold, All but the wight of bum y-galled, he While with quaint arts the giddy crowd she sways: Abhorreth bench, and stvol, and form, and chair;

Forewarn'd, if little bird their pranks behold, (This hand in mouth y-fix’d, that rends his hair ;) "Twill whisper in her ear, and all the scene unfold. And eke with snubs profound, and heaving breast,

Convulsions intermitting! does declare Lo now with state she utters the command ! His grievous wrong; his dame's unjust behest ; Esisoons the urchins to their tasks repair; And scorns her offer'd love, and shuns to be caress'd. Their books of stature small they take in hand, Which with pellucid horn secured are,

His face besprent with liquid crystal shines, To save from finger wet the letters fair:

His blooming face that seems a purple flower, The work so gay that on their back is seen, Which low to earth its drooping head declines, St. George's high achievements does declare; All smear'd and sullied by a vernal shower. On which thilk wight that has y-gazing been,

O the hard bosoms of despotic power! Kens the forth-coming rod, unpleasing sight, I ween!

All, all, but she, the author of his shame,

All, all, but she, regret this mournful hour: Ah luckless he, and born beneath the beam Yet hence the youth, and hence the flower shall Of evil star! it irks me whilst I write :

claim, As erst the bard * by Mulla's silver stream, If so I deem aright, transcending worth and fame. Of, as he told of deadly dolorous plight, Sigh'd as he sung, and did in tears indite.

Behind some door, in melancholy thought, For brandishing the rod, she doth begin

Mindless of food, he, dreary caitiff! pines, To loose the brogues, the stripling's late delight!

Ne for his fellows' joyaunce careth aught, And down they drop; appears his dainty skin,

But to the wind all merriment resigns; Fair as the furry-coat of whitest ermilin.

And deems it shame, if he to peace inclines:

And many a sullen look askance is sent, O ruthful scene! when from a nook obscure,

Which for his dame's annoyance he designs ; His little sister doth his peril see:

And still the more to pleasure him she's bent, All playful as she sate, she grows demure; The more doth he, perverse, her havior past reseni. She finds full soon her wonted spirits flee: She meditates a prayer to set him free:

Ah me! how much I fear lest pride it be! Nor gentle pardon could this dame deny

But if that pride it be, which thus inspires, (If gentle pardon could with dames agree) Beware, ye dames, with nice discernment see, To her sad grief that swells in either eye,

Ye quench not too the sparks of nobler fires : And wings her so that all for pity she could die. Ah! better far than all the Muses' lyres,

All coward arts, is Valor's generous heat; No longer can she now her shrieks command ; The firm fixt breast which fit and right requires, And hardly she forbears, through awful fear, Like Vernon's patriot soul! more justly great To rushen forth, and, with presumptuous hand, Than Craft that pimps for ill, or flowery false Deceit. To stay harsh Justice in its mid career. On thee she calls, on thee her parent dear!

Yet nurs'd with skill, what dazzling fruits appear! (Ah! too remote to ward the shameful blow!)

E'en now sagacious Foresight points to show She sees no kind domestic visage near,

A little bench of heedless bishops here, And soon a flood of tears begins to now;

And there a chancellor in embryo, And gives a loose at last to unavailing woe.

Or bard sublime, if bard may e'er be so,

As Milton, Shakspeare, names that ne'er shall die! But ah! what pen his piteous plight may trace ?

Though now he crawl along the ground so low, Or what device his loud laments explain ?

Nor weeting how the Muse should soar on high, The form uncóuth of his disguised face?

Wisheth, poor starveling elf! his paper kite may fly The pallid hue that dyes his looks amain? The plenteous shower that does his cheek distain ?

And this perhaps, who, censuring the design, When he, in abject wise, implores the dame,

Low lays the house which that of cards doth Ne hopeth aught of sweet reprievo to gain;

build, Or when from high she levels well her aim,

Shall Dennis be! if rigid Fate incline, And, through the thatch, his cries each falling stroke

And many an epic to his rage shall yield; proclaim.

And many a poet quit th’ Aonian field ;

And, sour'd by age, profound he shall appear, The other tribe, aghast, with sore dismay,

As he who now with 'sdainful fury thrillid Attend, and con their tasks with mickle care :

Surveys mine work; and levels many a sneer, And furls his wrinkly front, and cries, "What stuff

is here ?" * Spenser.


[ocr errors]


But now Dan Phebus gains the middle skie,
And Liberty unbars her prison-door;

And like a rushing torrent out they fly,
And now the grassy cirque had cover'd o'er

Describing the sorrow of an ingenuous mind, on the With boisterous revel-rout and wild uproar;

melancholy event of a licentious amour. A thousind ways in wanton rings they run, Hleaven shield their short-liv'd pastime, I im- Why mourns my friend? why weeps his downcast ploro'

eye, For well may Freedom erst so dearly won, That eye where mirth, where fancy usd to shine ? Appear to British elf more gladsome than the Sun. Thy cheerful meads reprove that swelling sigh;

Spring ne'er enamel'd fairer meads than thine. Enjoy, poor imps! enjoy your sportive trade, And chase gay fies, and cull the fairest flowers; Art thou not lodg'd in Fortune's warm embrace ? For when my bones in grass-green sods are laid, Wert thou not form’d by Nature's partial care ? For never may ye taste more careless hours Blest in thy song, and blest in every grace In knightly castles, or in ladies' bowers.

That wins the friend, or that enchants the fair? O vain to seek delight in earthly thing !

· Damon,” said he, “thy partial praise restrain ; But most in courts where proud Ambition towers; Deluded wight! who weens fair Peace can spring Alas! his very praise awakes my pain,

Not Damon's friendship can my peace restore ; Beneath the pompous dome of kesar or of king.

And my poor wounded bosom bleeds the more. See in each sprite some various bent appear! “For oh! that Nature on my birth had frown'd, These rudely carol most incondite lay;

Or Fortune fix'd me to some lowly cell; Those sauntering on the green, with jocund leer Then had my bosom 'scap'd this fatal wound, Salute the stranger passing on his way;

Nor had I bid these vernal sweets farewell. Some builden fragile tenements of clay ; Some to the standing lake their courses bend,

· But led by Fortune's hand, her darling child, With pebbles smooth at duck and drake to play ;

My youth her vain licentious bliss admir'd: Thilk to the huxler's savory cottage tend,

In Fortune's train the syren Flattery smild,

And rashly hallow'd all her queen inspir'd. In pastry kings and queens th' allotted mite to spend.

“Of folly studious, e'en of vices vain,

Ah vices! gilded by the rich and gay! Here, as each season yields a different store,

I chas'd the guileless daughters of the plain, Each season's stores in order ranged been ;

Nor dropp'd the chase, till Jessy was my prey. Apples with cabbage-net y-cover'd o'er, Galling full sore th' unmoney'd wight, are seen ; • Poor artless maid! to stain thy spotless name, And goose-b'rie clad in livery red or green; Expense, and art, and toil, united strove; And here of lovely dye, the catharine pear, To lure a breast that felt the purest flame, Fine pear! as lovely for thy juice, I ween: Sustain'd by virtue, but betray'd by love.

O may no wight e'er penniless come there, Lest smit with ardent love he pine with hopeless - School'd in the science of love's mazy wiles,

I cloth'd each feature with affected scorn; care!

I spoke of jealous doubts, and fickle smiles, See! cherries here, ere cherries yet abound,

And, feigning, left her anxious and forlorn. With thread so white in tempting posies tied,

“Then, while the fancied rage alarm'd her care, Scattering like blooming maid their glances round, Warm to deny, and zealous to disprove; With pamper'd look draw little eyes aside;

I bade my words their wonted softness wear, And must be bought, though penury betide.

And seiz'd the minute of returning love.
The plum all azure, and the nut all brown,
And here each season do those cakes abide, “To thee, my Damon, dare I paint the rest ?

Whose honor'd names* th' inventive city own, Will yet thy love a candid ear incline? Rendering through Britain's isle Salopia's praises Assur'd that virtue, by misfortune prest, known;

Feels not the sharpness of a pang like mine. Admir'd Salopia! that with venial pride

“Nine envious moons matur'd her growing shame, Eyes her bright form in Severn's ambient wave, When, scorn'd of virtue, stigmatiz'd by fame,

Erewhile to flaunt it in the face of day ;
Fam'd for her loyal cares in perils tried,
Her daughters lovely, and her striplings brave:

Low at my feet desponding Jessy lay.
Ah! 'midst the rest, may flowers adorn his grave “Henry,' she said, .by thy dear form subdu'd,
Whose heart did first these dulcet cales display!

See the sad relics of a nymph undone! A motive fair to Learning's imps he gave, I find, I find this rising sob renew’d:

Who cheerless o'er her darkling region stray; I sigh in shades, and sicken at the Sun. Till Reason's morn arise, and light them on their way.

“* Amid the dreary gloom of night, I cry,

When will the morn's once pleasing scenes return?

Yet what can morn's returning ray supply, * Shrewsbury cakes.

But foes that triumph, or but friends that mourn'


* Alas! no more that joyous morn appears

That led the tranquil hours of spotless fame; For I have steep'd a father's couch in tears,

And ting'd a mother's glowing cheek with shame.


Arbusta humilesque myrica.-Virg.


«• The vocal birds that raise their matin strain,

The sportive lambs, increase my pensive moan; All seem to chase me from the cheerful lain,

And talk of truth and innocence alone.

“ If through the garden's Rowery tribes I stray,

Where bloom the jasmines that could once allure, Hope not to find delight in us, they say,

For we are spotless, Jessy; we are pure.

" "Ye flowers! that well reproach a nymph so frail ;

Say, could ye with my virgin fame compare ? The brightest bud that scents the vernal gale

Was not so fragrant, and was not so fair.

« « Now the grave old alarm the gentler young ;

And all my fame's abhorr'd contagion flee : Trembles each lip, and falters every tongue,

That bids the morn propitious smile on me.

«• Thus for your sake I shun each human eye;

I bid the sweets of blooming youth adieu ; To die I languish, but I dread to die,

Lest my sad fate should nourish pangs for you.

6° Raise me from earth ; the pains of want remove,

And let me silent seek some friendly shore : There only, banish'd from the form I love,

My weeping virtue shall relapse no more.

YE shepherds so cheerful and gay,

Whose flocks never carelessly roam ; Should Corydon's happen to stray,

Oh! call the poor wanderers home. Allow me to muse and to sigh,

Nor talk of the change that ye find ; None once was so watchful as I;

I have left my dear Phyllis behind. Now I know what it is, to have strove

With the torture of doubt and desire ; What it is to admire and to love,

And to leave her we love and admire. Ah! lead forth my Rock in the morn,

And the damps of each evening repel; Alas! I am faint and forlorn :

-I have bade my dear Phyllis farewell. Since Phyllis vouchsaf'd me a look,

I never once dreamt of my vine: May I lose both my pipe and my crook,

If I knew of a kid that was mine! I priz'd ev'ry hour that went hy,

Beyond all that had pleas'd me before ; But now they are past, and I sigh ;

And I grieve that I priz'd them no more. But why do I languish in vain ;

Why wander thus pensively here? Oh! why did I come from the plain,

Where I fed on the smiles of my dear? They tell me, my favorite maid,

The pride of that valley, is flown; Alas! where with her I have stray'd,

I could wander with pleasure, alone.
When forc'd the fair nymph to forego,

What anguish I felt at my heart !
Yet I thought-but it might not be som

'Twas with pain that she saw me depart. She gaz'd, as I slowly withdrew;

My path I could hardly discern; So sweetly she bade me adieu,

I thought that she bade me return. The pilgrim that journeys all day

To visit some far-distant shrine, If he bear but a relic away,

Is happy, nor heard to repine. Thus widely remov'd from the fair,

Where my vows, my devotion, I owe, Soft Hope is the relic I bear,

And my solace wherever I go.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

My banks they are furnish'd with bees,

Whose murmur invites one to sleep;
My grottoes are shaded with trees,

And my hills are white over with sheep. I seldom have met with a loss,

Such health do my fountains bestow : My fountains all border'd with moss, Where the hare-bells and violets grow.

“And see my youth's impetuous fires decay ;

Seek not to stop Reflection's bitter tear; But warn the frolic, and instruct the gay, From Jessy floating on her watery bier!"

With her mien she enamours the brave;

With her wit she engages the free; With her modesty pleases the grave;

She is every way pleasing to me. O you that have been of her train,

Come and join in my amorous lays; I could lay down my life for the swain,

That will sing but a song in her praise. When he sings, may the nymphs of the town

Come trooping, and listen the while; Nay on him let not Phyllida frown;

-But I cannot allow her to smile.

Not a pine in my grove is there seen,

But with tendrils of wood bine is bound : Not a beech's more beautiful green,

But a sweet-brier entwines it around. Not my fields, in the prime of the year,

More charms than my cattle unfold ;
Not a brook that is limpid and clear,

But it glitters with fishes of gold.
One would think she might like to retire

To the bower I have labor'd to rear;
Not a shrub that I heard her admire,

But I hasted and planted it there. O how sudden the jessamine strove

With the lilac to render it gay! Already it calls for my love,

To prune the wild branches away. From the plaing, from the woodlands and groves,

What strains of wild melody flow! How the nightingales warble their loves

From thickets of roses that blow! And when her bright form shall appear,

Each bird shall harmoniously join In a concert so soft and so clear,

As—she may not be found to resign. I have found out a gift for my fair;

I have found where the wood-pigeons breed : But let me that plunder forbear,

She will say 'twas a barbarous deed. For he ne'er could be true, she averr'd,

Who would rob a poor bird of its young: And I lov'd her the more when I heard

Such tenderness fall from her tongue.

For when Paridel tries in the dance

Any favor with Phyllis to find, O how, with one trivial glance,

Might she ruin the peace of my mind! In ringlets he dresses his hair,

And his crook is bestudded around; And his pipe—oh my Phyllis, beware

Of a magic there is in the sound.

'Tis his with mock passion to glow,

"Tis his in smooth tales to unfold, How her face is as bright as the snow,

And her bosom, be sure, is as cold. How the nightingales labor the strain,

With the notes of his charmer to vie; How they vary their accents in vain,

Repine at her triumphs, and die.

I have heard her with sweetness unfold

How that pity was due to—a dove: That it ever attended the bold;

And she call'd it the sister of love. But her words such a pleasure convey,

So much I her accents adore,
Let her speak, and whatever she say,

Methinks I should love her the more.

To the grove or the garden he strays,

And pillages every sweet;
Then, suiting the wreath to his lays,

He throws it at Phyllis's feet.
“O Phyllis," he whispers, “ more fair,

More sweet than the jessamine's flower. What are pinks in a morn to compare ?

What is eglantine after a shower?

“ Then the lily no longer is white;

The rose is depriv'd of its bloom ; Then the violets die with despite,

And the woodbines give up their perfume Thus glide the soft numbers along,

And he fancies no shepherd his peer; -Yet I never should



song, Were not Phyllis to lend it an ear.

Can a bosom so gentle remain

Unmov'd when her Corydon sighs ? Will a nymph that is fond of the plain,

These plains and this valley despise ? Dear regions of silence and shade!

Soft scenes of contentment and ease ? Where I could have pleasingly stray'd,

If aughi, in her absence, could please. But where does my Phyllida stray ?

And where are her grots and her bowers ? Are the groves and the valleys as gay,

And the shepherds as gentle as ours ? The groves may perhaps be as fair,

And the face of the valleys as fine ; The swains may in manners compare,

But their love is not equal to mine.

Let his crook be with hyacinths bound,

So Phyllis the trophy despise : Let his forehead with laurels be crown'd,

So they shine not in Phyllis's eyes. The language that flows from the heart,

Is a stranger to Paridel's tongue ; - Yet


she beware of his art, Or sure I must envy the song.

III. SOLICITUDE. Wuy will you my passion reprove ?

Why term it a folly to grieve ? Ere I show you the charms of my love,

She's fairer than you can believe.

IV. DISAPPOINTMENT. Ye shepherds, give ear to my lay,

And take no more heed of my sheep; They have nothing to do but to stray;

I have nothing to do but to weep. Yet do not my folly reprove;

She was fair—and my passion begun; She smild-and I could not but love;

She is faithless-and I am undone.

« PreviousContinue »