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A PASTORAL BALLAD,

IN FOUR PARTS:

written 1743,

BY Shenstone.
Arbusta humilesque myricae. Virc.

I. ABSENCE.

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 flock in the norm,
And the damps of each ev'ning repel;
Alas! I am faint and forlorn:
—I have bade my dear Phyllis farewell.

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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 favourite 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 so—
'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.

II. HOPE.

My banks they are furnish'd with bees, ,
Whose murmur invites one to sleep;
My grottos are shaded with trees,
And my hills are white-over with sheep.
I seldom have met with a loss,
Such health do my sountains bestow;
My fountains all-border'd with moss,
Where the hare-bells and violets grow.

Not a pine in my grove is there seen,
But with tendrils of woodbine is bound;
Not a beech is 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 broek that is limpid and clear,
But it glitters with fishes of gold.

One would think she might like to retire To the bow'r I have labour'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 plains, 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 fond 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 could rob a poor bird of its young:
And I lov’d her the more, when I heard
Such tenderness fall from her tongue.

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.

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 aught in her absence could please.

But where does my Phyllida stray?
And where are her grots and her bow'rs?
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.

III. SOLICITUDE.

Why will you my passion reprove?
Why term it a folly to grieve?

Ere I show you the charms of my love,
She is fairer than you can believe.

With her mien she enamours the brave;
With her wit she engages the free;

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