« PreviousContinue »
Nostra, nec erubuit sylvas habitare, Thalia,
Virg. Ecl. vi. 2
THE FIRST PASTORAL
LOBBIN. Iz we, o Dorset, quit the city-throng, To meditate in shades the rural song, Br your command, be present: and, O bring The Muse along! the Muse to you shall sing: Her influence, Buckhurst, let me there obtain, And I forgive the fam'd Sicilian swain.
Begin.-In unluxurious times of yore, When flocks and herds were no inglorious store, Lobbin, a shepherd-boy, one evening fair, As western winds had cool'd the sultry air, His number'd sheep within the fold now pent, Thus plain'd him of his dreary discontent; Beneath a hoary poplar's whispering boughs He, solitary, sat to breathe his vows, Venting the tender anguish of his heart, As passion taught, in accents free of art : And little did he hope, while, night by night, His sighs were lavish'd thus on Lucy bright.
." Ah, well-a-day! how long must I endure This pining pain? Or who shall speed my cure? Fond love no cure will have, seek no repose, Delights in grief, nor any measure knows. And now the Moon begins in clouds to rise; The brightening stars increase within the skies; The wiņils are bush; the devs distil; and sleep Hath clos'd the eyelids of my weary sheep: I only, with the prowling wolf, constrain'd All night to wake: with hunger he is pain'd, And I, with love. His hunger he inay tame; Put who can quench, 0 cruel Love, thy flame? Whiom did I, all as this poplar fair, l'p-raise my heedless head, then void of care, Riong rustic routs the chief for wanton game; Nos eould they merry make, till Lobbin came. Who better seen than I in shepherds' arts, To please the lads and win the lasses' hearts !
How deftly, to mine oaten-reed so sweet,
And when—But why these unavailing pains ? When every slackening nerve begins to fail, The gifts, alike, and giver she disdains:
And the load presscth as our days prerail? And now, left heiress of the glen, she 'll deem Yet, though with years my body downward tend, Me, landless lad, unworthy her esteem:
As trees beneath their fruit in autumn bend; Yet, was she born, like me, of shepherd-sire; Spite of my snowy bead, and icy veins, And I may fields and lowing herds acquire. My mind a cheerful temper still retains. O! would my gifts but win her wanton heart, And why should man, mishap what will, repine, Or could I half the warmth I feel impart,
Sour every sweet, and mix with tears his wine? How would I wander, every day, to find
But tell me, then : it may relieve thy woe,
Idly 't will waste thee, Thenot, the whole day, Or! if thou deign to live a shepherdess,
Shouldst thou give ear to all my grief can say. Thou Lobbin's flock and Lobbin shalt possess :
Thine ewes will wander; and the heedless lambs, And, fair my flock, nor yet uncomely I,
In loud complaints, require their absent dams. If liquid fountains flatter not; and why Should liquid fountains Aatter us, yet show The bordering flowers less beauteous than they grow? See Lightfoot; he shall tend them close : and I, O! come, my love; nor think th'employment mean,
'Tween whiles, across the plain will glance mine The dams to milk, and little lambkins wean,
eye. To drive a-field, by morn, the fattening ewes, Ere the warm Sun drink-up the cooly dews, Where to begin I know not, where to end. While, with my pipe and with my voice, I cheer Does there one smiling hour my youth attend ! Each hour, and through the day detain thine ear. Though few my days, as well my follies show, How would the crook beseem thy lily-hand! Yet are those days all clouded o'er with woe: How would my younglings round thee gazing stand! No happy gleam of sunshine doth appear, Ah, witless younglings! gaze not on her eye, My lowering sky and wintery months to cheer. Thence all my sorrow; thence the death I die. My piteous plight in yonder naked tree, O, killing beauty! and 0, sore desire !
Which bears the thunder-scar, too plain I see: Must then my sufferings, but with life, expire? Quite destitute it stands of shelter kind, Though blossoms every year the trees adorn, 'The mark of storms, and sport of every wind: Spring after spring 1 wither, nipt with scorn: The riven trunk feels not th' approach of spring; Nor trow I wben this bitter blast will end,
Nor birds among the leafless branches sing: Or if yon stars will e'er my vows befriend.
No more, bencath thy shade, shall shepherds throng,
Now to the waning Moon the nightingale, From thee, froin ine, alike the shepherds fly.
Sure thou in hapless hour of time wast born,
When blighting mildews spoil the rising corn,
Or blasting winds o'er blossom'd hedge-rows pass, To slumbers soft his heavy heart invite.
To kill the promis'd fruits, and scorch the grass ;
Blood-stain'd in foul eclipse, impending woes.
Untimely born, ill-luck betides thee still.
And can there, Thenot, be a greater ill?
From this good shepherd's care his flock may keep: 'Tis Colinet, indeed, in woful plight.
Against ill-luck, alas ! all forecast fails; Thy cloudy look, why melting into tears,
Nor toil by day, nor watch by night, arails.
Ah me, the while! ah me, the luckless day!
Ah, luckless lad! befits me more to say.
Unhappy hour! when fresh in youthful bud,
Ah, silly I! more silly than nuy sheep,
With ravish'd eges, review thine amell’d shore ? As they to mirth and music, I to mourn.
When, in the crystal of thy water, scan Waking, at midnight, I my wocs renew,
Each feature faded and my colour wan?
When shall I see my hut, the small abude
Myself did raise, and cover o'er with sod ?
And now behold the Sun's departing ray, And what enticement charm'd thee, far away D'er yonder bill, the sign of ebbing day: From thy lor'd home, and led thy heart astray? With songs the jovial hinds return from plow;
And unyok'd heifers, loitering homeward, low.
THE THIRD PASTORAL
To tune, and flocks on Mantuan plains to feed, And, to their cost, green years old proverbs cross.
With young Augustus' name he grac'd his songs
And Spenser, when amid the rural throng
He carol'd sweet, and graz'd along the flood
Of gentle Thames, made every sounding wood To distant Cam. Fine gain at length, I trow,
With good Eliza's name to ring around; To hoard up to myself such deal of woe!
Eliza's name on every tree was found : My sheep quite spent, through travel and ill-fare, Since, then, through Anna's cares at ease we live, And, like their keeper, ragged grown and bare,
And see our cattle unmolested thrive,
While from our Albion her victorious arms
Drive wasteful warfare, loud in dire alarms,
Like them will I my slender music raise, And hard is want to the unpractis'd swain:
And teach the vocal valleys Anna's praise, But neither want, nor pinching cold, is hard,
Meantime, on oaten pipe, a lowly lay, To blasting storms of calumny comparid:
As my kids browse, obscure in shades I play: Unkind as hail it falls; the pelting shower
Yet, not obscure, while Dorset thinks no scorn
To visit woods, and swains ignobly born. Destroys the tender herb, and budding flower.
Two valley swains, both musical, both young, THENOT.
In friendship mutual, and united long, Slander we shepherds count the vilest wrong: Retire within a mossy cave, to shun And what wounds sorer than an evil tongue ? The crowd of shepherds, and the noon-day sun. COLINET.
A gloom of sadness overcasts their mind : l'ntoward lads, the wanton imps of spite,
Revolving now, the solemn day they find, Make mock of all the ditties I indite.
When young Albino died. His image dear In vain, O Colinet, thy pipe, so shrill,
Bedeu's their cheeks with many a trickling tear: Charms every vale and gladdens every hill:
To tears they add the tribute of their verse;
These Angelot, those Palin, did rehearse.
Thus, yearly circling, by-past times return; And every elf hath skill enough to rail:
And yearly, thus, Albino's death we mourn. But yet, though poor and artless be my vein, Sent into life, alas ! how short thy stay: Menalcas seems to like my simple strain:
How sweet the rose ! how speedy to decay !
Can we forget, Albino dear, thy knell,
That hills, and dales, and rocks, in echo groan'd,
Presaging future woe, when, for our crimes, Meralcas, lord of these fair fertile plains,
We lost Albino, pledge of peaceful times, Preserves the sheep, and o'er the shepherds reigns: Fair boast of this fair Island, darling joy For him vur yearly wakes, and feasts, we hold,
Of nobles high, and every shepherd-boy? And choose the fairest firstlings from the fold:
No joyous pipe was heard, no flocks were seen, He, good to all, who good deserve, shall give
Nor shepherd found upon the grassy green, Thy flock to feed, and thee at ease to live,
No cattle graz'd the field, nor drank the food, Shall curb the malice of unbridled tongues,
No birds were heard to warble through the wood, And bounteously reward thy rural songs.
In yonder gloomy grove out-stretch'd he lay
His lovely limbs upon the dampy clay;
On his cold cheek the rosy hue decay'd,
Bleating around him lie bis plaintive sheep, And every rapid river cease to flow,
And mourning shepherds come in crowds to weep. Ere I unmindful of Menalcas grow.
Young Buckhurst comes; and, is there no redress? THENOT.
As if the grave regarded our distress ! This night thy care with me forget; and fold The tender virgins come, to tears yet new, Thy flock with mine, to ward th' injurious cold. And give, aloud, the lamentations due. New milk, and clouted cream, mild cheese and curd, The pious mother comes, with grief opprest: With some remaining fruit of last year's hoard, Ye trees, and conscious fountains, can attest Shall be our evening fare, and, for the night, With what sad accents, and what piercing cries, Sweet herbs and moss, which gentle sleep invite: She lill'd the grove, and import:un'd the skics,
PHILIPS'S POEMS. And every star upbraided with his death,
Nor fail to mention thee in all our cheer, When, in her widow'd arms, devoid of breath, And teach our children the remembrance dear, She clasp'd her son: nor did the nymph, for this, When we our shearing-feast, or harvest keep, Place in her darling's welfare all her bliss,
To speed the plough, and bless our thriving sheep. Him teaching, young, the harmless crook to wield, While willow kids, and herbage lambs pursue, And rule the peaceful empire of the field.
While bees love thyme, and locusts sip the dew, As milk-white swans on streams of silver show, While birds delight in woods their notes to strain, And silvery streams to grace the meadows flow, Thy name and sweet memorial shall remain As corn the vales, and trees the hills adorn, So thou, to thine, an ornament wast born. Since thou, delicious youth, didst quit the plains, Th' ungrateful ground we till with fruitless pains,
THE FOURTH PASTORAL.
Through which the springing flower up-rears the With sinewy force, to pitch the massy bar ?
And honeysuckles of a purple dye,
Confusion gay! bright waving to the eye. 0, peaceful may thy gentle spirit rest!
Hark, how they warble in that brambly bush, The flowery turf lie light upon thy breast;
The gaudy goldfinch, and the speckly thrush,
And blackbird Auting through his yellow bill :
Us prompting in the various songs to join :
Up, Argol, then, and to thy lip apply
Thy mellow pipe, or voice more sounding, try: With myriads mixt who never know to grieve,
And since our ewes have graz'd, what harms if they Who welcome every stranger-guest, nor fear
Lie round and listen while the lambkins play? Ever to mourn his absence with a tear; Where cold, nor heat, nor irksome toil annoy, Well, Myco, can thy dainty wit express Nor age, nor sickness, comes to damp their joy : Fair Nature's bounties in the fairest dress : And now the royal nymph who bore him deigns "T is rapture all! the place, the birds, the sky; The land to rule, and shield the simple swains, And rapture works the singer's fancy high. While, from above, propitious he looks down: Sweet breathe the fields, and now a gentle breeze For this, the welkin docs no longer frown.
Moves every leaf, and trembles through the trees: Each planet shines, indulgent, from bis sphere,
Ill such incitements suit my rugged lay,
Befitting more the music thou canst play.
No fine device thine ear to entertain :
Albeit some deal 1 pipe, rude though it be, The laurel green, the smelling eglantine,
Sufficient to divert my sheep and me; And tender branches from the mantling vine,
Yet Colinet (and Colinet hath skill) The dewy cowslip which in meadow grows,
Oft guides my fingers on the tuneful quill, The fountain violet, and the gardeu rose,
And fain would teach me on what sounds to dwell, Marsh-lilies sweet, and tufts of daffodil,
And where to sink a note, and where to swell.
Ah, Myco! half my flock would I bestow, Bring in heap'd canisters of every kind,
Should Colinet to me his cunning show : As if the summer had with spring combin'd,
So trim his sonnets are, I pr’ythee, swain, And Nature, forward to assist your care,
Now give us, once, a sample of his strain: Did not profusion for Albino spare.
For wonders of that lad the shepherds say, Your hamlets strew, and every public way;
How sweet his pipe, how ravishing bis lay ! And consecrate to mirth Albino's day:
The sweetness of his pipe and lay rehearse; Myself will lavish all my little store,
And ask what boon thou willest for thy verse.
Fast by the river on a bank he sate,
Hair Stella hight: a lovely maid was she,
Nor dance, nor sing, nor ever sweetly smile,
Awake, my pipe; in every note erpress
Fair Stella's death and Colinet's distress. “O woeful day! O day of woe to me!
“ Throw by the lily, daffodil, and rose ; That ever I should live such day to see!
Wreaths of black yew, and willow pale, compose, That ever she could die! ( most unkind,
With baneful hemlock, deadly nightshade, drest, To go and leave thy Colinet behind !
Such chaplets as may witness thine unrest, From blameless love and plighted troth to go, If aught can witness: 0, ye shepherds, tell, And leave to Colinet a life of woe!”
When I am dead, no shepherd lov'd so well!" Auake, my pipe ; in every note erpress
Awake, my pipe; in every note express Fair Siella's death and Colinel's distress.
Fair Stella's death and Colinet's distress. “ And yet, why blame I her? Full fain would she “ Alack, my sheep! and thou, dear spotless lamb, With dying arms have clasp'd herself to me: By Stella nurs'd, who wean'd thee from the dam, I clasp'd her too, but Death prov'd over-strong: What heed give I to aught but to my grief, Nor vows nor tears could fleeting life prolong: My whole employment, and my whole relief! Yet how shall I from vows and tears refrain? Stray where ye list, some happier master try : And why should vows, alas! and tears be vain!" Yet once, my flock, was none so blest as I.” Auake, my pipe; in every note erpress
Awake, my pipe; in every note express Fair Stella's death and Colinet's distress.
Fair Stella's death and Colinet's distress. “ Aid me to grieve, with bleating moan, my sheep, My pipe, whose soothing sound could passion Aid me, thou ever-flowing stream, to weep;
move, Aid me, ye faint, ye hollow winds, to sigh,
And first taught Stella's virgin heart to love, And thou, my woe, assist me thou to die.
Shall silent hang upon this blasted oak, Me flock, nor stream, nor winds, nor woes, relieve; Whence owls their dirges sing, and ravens croak: She lov'd through life, and I through life will grieve.” Nor lark, nor linnet, shall my day delight, Awake, my pipe ; in every note express
Nor nightingale suspend my moan by night: Pair Stella's death and Colinet's distress.
The night and day shall undistinguish'd be, “ Ye gentler maids, companions of my fair,
Alike to Stella, and alike to me.”
Thus, sorrowing, did the gentle shepherd sing, Her hour, untimely, help me to lament;
And urge the valley with his wail to ring. And let your hearts at Stella's name relent.”
And now that sheep-hook for my song I crave. Awake, my pipe; in every note express Fair Stella's death and Colinet's distress.
Not this, but one more costly, shalt thou have, “ In vain th endearing lustre of your eyes Of season'd elm, where studs of brass appear, We dote upon, and you as vainly prize.
To speak the giver's name, the month, and year;
And richly by the carver's skill adorn'd.
0, Colinet, how sweet thy grief to hear!
How does thy verse sub lue the listening ear! Awake, my pipe; in every note erpress
Soft falling as the still, refreshing dew, Fair Stella's death and Colinets distress.
To slake the drought, and herbage to renew: “ Such Stella was; yet Stella might not live! Not half so sweet the midnight winds, which move And what could Colinet in ransom give?
In drowsy murmurs o'er the waving grove, Oh! if or Music's voice, or Beauty's charm, Nor valley brook that, hid by alders, speeds Could milden Death, and stay his lifted arm, O’er pebbles warbling, and through whispering reeds, My pipe her face, her face my pipe might save, Nor dropping waters, which from rocks distil, Redeeming each the other from the grave." And welly-grots with tinkling echoes fill. Awake, my pipe; in every note express
Thrice happy Colinet, who can relieve Fair Stella's death and Colinet's distress.
Heart-anguish sore, and make it sweet to grieve!
And next to thee shall Myco bear the bell, “ Ah, fruitless wish! fell Death's uplifted arm
Who can repeat thy peerless song so well; Nor Beauty can arrest, nor Music charm.
But see! the hills increasing shadows cast; Behold! oh, baleful sight! see where she lies!
The Sun, I ween, is leaving us in haste: The budding flower, unkindly blasted, dies :
His weakly rays faint glimmer through the wood, Nor, though I live the longest day to mourn,
And bluey mists arise from yonder flood. Will she again to life and me return.”
MYCO. Awake, my pipe; in every note express
Bid then our dogs to gather in the sheep. (sleep. Fair Stella's death and Colinets distress.
Good shepherds, with their fock, betimes should “ Unhappy Colinet! what boots thee now, Who late lies down, thou know'st, as late will rise, To weave fresh girlonds for thy Stella's brow And, sluggard-like, to noon-day snoring lies, Nor girlond ever more may Stella wear,
While in the fold bis injur'd ewes complain, Nor see the flowery season of the year,
And after dewy pastures bleat in vain. VOL. XlI.