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"T is all because she would not lose
A PASTORAL ODE, Her favourite calm that will not last.
TO THE HONOURABLE SIR RICHARD LYTTELTON, The Sun with azure paints the skies,
The morn dispens'd a dubious light; The stream reflects each flowery spray;
A sullen mist had stol'n from sight And, frugal of her time, she flies
Each pleasing vale and hill; To take her till of love and play.
When Damon left bis humble bowers, See her, when rugged Boreas blows,
To guard his flocks, to fence his flowers,
Or check his wandering rill.
Though school'd from Furtune's paths to fly, Would only then enhance the pain.
The swain beneath each lowering sky
Would oft his fate bemoan; " Descend,” she cries, “ thou hated shower,
That he in sylvan shades, forlorn, Deform my limpid waves to-day,
Must waste his cheerless ev'n aud morn, For I have chose a fairer hour
Nor prais'd, nor lov'd, nor known. To take my fill of love and play.”
No friend to Fame's obstreperous noise, You too, my Silvia, sure will own
Yet to the whispers of her voice, Life's azure seasons swiftly roll :
Soft murmuring, not a foe : And when our youth or health is flown,
The pleasures he through choice declin'd, To think of love but shocks the soul.
When gloomy fogs depress'd bis inind, Could Damon but deserve thy charms,
It griev'd him to forgo : And thou art Damon's only theme;
Griev'd him to lurk the lakes beside, He'd fly as quick to Delia's arins,
Where coots in rushy dingles hide,
And moorcocks shun the day;
And scorn to quit their prey.
But see, the radiant Sun once more
The brightening face of Heaven restore,
And raise the doubtful dawn; So well our minds and tempers blend;
And, more to gild his rural sphere, That seasons may for ever flee,
At once the brightest train appear, And ne'er divide me from my friend;
That ever trod the lawn. But let the favour'd boy forbear
Amazement chill'd the shepherd's frame, To tempt with love my only fair.
To think Bridgewater's 'honour'd name
Should grace his rustic cell; O Lycon, born when every Muse,
That she, on all whose motions wait When evey Grace benignant smild,
Distinction, titles, rank, and state, With all a parent's breast could chuse
Should rove where shepherds dwell. To bless her lov'd, her only child :
But true it is, the generous mind, "T is thine, so richly grac'd, to prove
By candour sway'd, by taste retin'd, More noble cares than cares of love.
Will nought but vice disdain ; Together we from early youth
Nor will the breast where Fancy glows Have trod the flowery tracks of Time,
Deem every flower a weed, that blows Together inns'd in search of Truth,
Amid the desert plain. O'er learned sage, or bard subliine ;
Reseems it such, with honour crown'd, And well thy cultur'd breast I know,
To deal its lucid beams around, What wondrous treasure it can show.
Nor equal meed receive?
At most such garlands from the field, Come then, resume thy charming lyre,
As cowslips, pinks, and pansies yield,
And rural hands can weave.
Yet strive, ye shepherds, strive to find,
And weave the fairest of the kind, The flaine that burns me night and day.
The prime of all the spring;
If haply thus yon lovely fair O come! the Dryads of the woods
May round their temples deign to wear Shall daily sooth thy studious mind,
The trivial wreaths you bring. The blue-ey'd nymphs of yonder Hoods
O how the peaceful halcyons play'd, Shall meet and court thee to be kind;
Where'er the conscious iake betray'd And Fame sits listening for thy lays,
Athenia's placid inien; To swell her trump with Lucio's praise.
How did the sprightlier linncts throng, Like me, the plover fondly tries
Where Paphia's charms requir'd the song, To lure the sportsman from her nest,
'Mid hazel copses green! And, fluttering on with anxious cries,
Lo, Dartinouth on those banks reclin'd,
While busy Fancy calls to mind
The dutchess, married to sir R. Lyttelton The glories of his line ;
Here too shall Conway's name appear, Methinks my cottage rears its head,
He prais'd the stream so lovely clear, The ruin'd walls of yonder shed,
That shone the reeds among; As through enchantment, shine.
Yet clearness could it not disclose, But who the nymph that guides their way?
To match the rhetoric that flows Could ever nymph descend to stray
From Conway's polish'd tongue. From Hagley's fam'd retreat
E’en Pitt, whose fervent periods roll Else, by the blooming features fair,
Resistless through the kindling soul The faultless make, the matchless air,
Of senates, councils, kings; 'T were Cynthia's form complete.
Though form'd for courts, vouchsaf'd to rove, So would some tuberose delight,
Inglorious, through the shepherd's grove, That struck the pilgrim's wondering sight
And ope his bashful springs. 'Mid lonely deserts drear;
But what can courts discover more, All as, at eve, the sovereign flower
Than these rude haunts have seen before, Dispenses round its balmy power,
Each fount and shady tree? And crowns the fragrant year.
Have not these trees and fountains seen Ah, now no more, the shepherd cried,
The pride of courts, the winning mien Must I Ambition's charms deride,
Of peerless Aylesbury? Her subtle force disown;
And Grenville, she whose radiant eyes No more of Fauns or Fairies dream,
Have mark'd by slow gradation rise While Fancy, near each crystal stream,
The princely piles of Stow; Shall paint these forms alone.
Yet prais'd these unembellish'd woods, By low-brow'd rock, or pathless mead,
And smil'd to see the babbling floods I deem'd that Splendour ne'er should lead
Through self-worn mazes flow. My dazzled eyes astray;
Say Dartmouth, who your banks admir'd, But who, alas ! will dare contend,
Again beneath your caves retird, If Beauty add, or Merit blend
Shall grace the pensive shade; Its more illustrious ray?"
With all the bloom, with all the truth, Nor is it long—O plaintive swain !
With all the sprightliness of youth, Since Guernsey saw without disdain,
By cool reflection sway'd! Where, hid in woodlands green,
Brave, yet humane, shall Smith appear; The partner of his early days,
Ye sailors, though his name be dear, And once the rival of his praise,
Think him not yours alone: Had stol'n thro' life unseen.
Grant him in other spheres to charm, Scarce faded is the vernal flower,
The shepherds' breasts though mild are warm, Since Stamford left his honour'd bower
And ours are all his own. To smile familiar here:
O Lyttelton! my honour'd guest, O form'd by Nature to disclose
Could I describe thy generous breast, How fair that courtesy which flows
Thy firm, yet polish'd mind; From social warmth sincere !
How public love adorns thy name,
How Fortune too conspires with Fame;
The sung should please mankind.
Written towards the close of the year 1748, Ah, never to return !
TO WILLIAM LYTTELTON, ESQ.
How blithely pass'd the summer's day!
How bright was every flower! Come then, my Lælius, come once more,
While friends arriv'd, in circles gay,
To visit Damon's bower !
But now, with silent step, I range
Along some lonely shore; That envied his impartial Muse
And Damon's bower, alas the change! To sing your early praise.
Is gay with friends no more. While Philo, to whose favour'd sight,
Away to crowds and cities borne, Antiquity, with full delight,
In quest of joy they steer; Her inmost wealth displays;
Whilst I, alas ! am left forlorn, Beneath yon ruin's moulder'd wall
To weep the parting year! Shall muse, and with his friend recall
Opensive Autumn! how I grieve The pomp of antient days.
Thy sorrowing face to see!
When languid suns are taking leave • They were school-fellows,
Of every drooping tree.
Ah let me not, with heavy eye,
LOVE AND MUSIC. This dying scene survey !
WRITTEN AT OXFORD, WHEN YOUNG. Haste, Winter, haste; usurp the sky;
Swall Love alone for ever claim Complete my bower's decay.
An universal right to Fame, Ill can I bear the motley cast
An undisputed sway? Yon sickening leaves retain ;
Or has not Music equal charms, That speak at once of pleasure past,
To fill the breast with strange alarms, And bode approaching pain.
And make the world obey ? At home, unblest, I gaze around,
The Thracian bard, as poets tell, My distant scenes require;
Could mitigate the powers of Hell; Where all in murky vapours drowy'd
E'en Pluto's nicer ear: Are hamlet, hill, and spire.
His arts, no more than Love's, we find,
To deities or men confin'd, Though Thomson, sweet descriptive bard !
Drew brutes in crowds to hear.
Whatever favourite passion reign'd,
The poet still his right maintain'd
O’er all that rang'd the plain; Ah luckless months, of all the rest,
The fiercer tyrants could assuage, To whose hard share it fell !
Or fire the timorous into rage, For sure he was the gentlest breast
Whene'er he chang'd the strain. That ever sung so well.
In milder lays the bard began: And see, the swallows now disown
Soft notes through every finger ran, The roofs they lov'd before;
And echoing charm'd the place: Each, like his tuneful genius, flown
See! fawning lions gaze around, To glad some happier shore.
And, taught to quit their savage sound, The wood-nymph'eyes, with pale affright,
Assume a gentler grace. The sportsman's frantic deed;
When Cymon view'd the fair-one's charms, While hounds and horns and yells unite
Her ruby lips and snowy arms, To drown the Muse's reed.
And told her beauties o'er; Ye fields with blighted herbage brown,
When love reform’d his awkward tone,
Aud made each clownish gesture known, Ye skies no longer blue !
It show'd but equal power.
The bard now tries a sprightlier sound,
When all the feather'd race around Where is the mead's unsullied green?
Perceive the varied strains ; T'lie Zephyr's balmy gale?
The soaring lark the note pursues, And where sweet Friendship's cordial mien,
The timorous dove around him coos, That brighten'd every vale?
And Philomel complains. What though the vine disclose her dyes,
An equal power of Love I've seen And boast her purple store:
Incite the deer to scour the green, Not all the vineyard's rich supplies
And chase bis barking foe. Can sooth our sorrows more.
Sometimes has Love, with greater might, He! he is gone, whose moral strain
To challenge-nay-sometimes—to fight Could wit and mirth refine;
Provok'd th' enamour'd beau. He! he is gone, whose social vein
When Sylvia treads the smiling plain, Surpass'd the power of wine.
How glows the heart of every swain, Fast by the streams he deign'd to praise,
By pleasing tumults tost ! In yon sequester'd grove,
When Handel's solemn accents roll, To him a votive urn I raise :
Each breast is fir'd, each raptur'd soul To him and friendly Love.
In sweet confusion lost. Yes, there, my friend ! forlorn and sad,
If she her melting glauces dart, I grave your Thomson's name;
Or he his dying airs impart, and there, his lyre; which Fate forbad
Our spirits sink away. To sound your growing fame.
Enough, enough ! dear nymph, give o'er ;
And thou, great artist ! urge no more There shall my plaintive song recount
Thy unresisted sway. Dark themes of hopeless woe;
Thus Love or Sound affects the mind : And faster than the dropping fount, I'll teach mine eyes to flow.
But when their various powers are join'il,
Fly, daring mortal, fly! There leaves, in spite of Autumn green,
For when Selinda's charms appear, Shall shade the hallow'd ground;
And I her tuneful accents hear-
I burn, I faint, I die!
Tis by comparison we know This loss, to Damon's bower.
On every object to bestow
Its proper share of praise :
No more my feet shall press the ground Did each alike perfection bear,
In dance with wonted glee; What beanty, though divinely fair,
No more my little flock I'll keep, Could admiration raise ?
To some dark cave I'll fly; Amidst the lucid bands of night,
I've nothing now to do but weep, See, Hesperus, serenely bright,
To mourn my fate, and sigh. Adorns the distant skies;
Ah ! Cynthia, thy Damon's cries But languishes amidst the blaze
Are heard at dead of night ; Of sprightly Sol's meridian rays,
But they, alas' are doom'd to rise Or Sylvia's brighter dyes.
Like smoke upon the sight. Whene'er the nightingale complains,
They rise in vain, ah me! in vain I like the melancholy strains,
Are scatter'd in the wind; And praise the tuneful bird :
Cynthia does not know the pain But rainly might she strain her throat,
That rankles in my mind. Vainly exalt each swelling note,
If sleep perhaps my eye-lids close, Should Sylvia's voice be heard.
"T is but to dream of you ; When, on the violet's purple bed,
A while I cease to feel my woes, Supine I rest my weary head,
Nay, think I 'm happy too. The fragrant pillow charms :
I think I press with kisses pure, Yet soon such languid bliss I'd fly,
Your lovely rosy lips; Would Sylvia but the loss supply,
And you're my bride, I think I'm sure, And take me to her arms.
Till gold the mountain tips. The alabáster's wondrons wbite,
When wak'd, aghast I look around, The marble's polish strikes my sight,
And find my charmer flown; When Sylvia is not seen :
Then bleeds afresh my galling wounch, But ah! how faint that white is grown,
While I am left alone. How rough appears the polish'd stone,
Take pity then, O gentlest maid! Compar'd with Slyvia's mien !
On thy poor Damon's heart : The rose, that o'er the Cyprian plains,
Remember what I 've often said, With flowers enameil'd, blooming reigns
'T is you can cure my smart. With undisputed power, Plac'd near her cheek's celestial red, (Its purple lost, its lustre fled) Delights the sense no more.
Written about the time of his execution, in the ODE TO CYNTHIA,
Come listen to my mournful tale,
Ye tender hearts and lovers dear; Now in the cowslip's dewy cell
Ņor will you scorn to heave a sigh, The Fairies make their bed,
Nor need you blush to shed a tear. They hover round the crystal well,
And thou, dear Kitty ! peerless maid, The turf in circles tread.
Do thou a pensive ear incline; The lovely linnet now her song
For thou canst weep at every woe ; Tunes sweetest in the wood;
And pity every plaint—but mine. The twittering swallow skims along
Young Dawson was a gallant boy, The azure liquid flood.
A brighter never trod the plain ; The morning breeze wafts Flora's kiss
And well he lov'd one charming maid, In fragrance to the sense ;
And dearly was he lov'd again. The happy shepherd feels the bliss,
One tender maid, she lov'd him dear, And she takes no offence,
Of gentle blood the damsel came; But not the linnet's sweetest song
And faultless was her beauteous form, That ever fill'd the wood;
And spotless was her virgin fame. Or twittering swallow that along
But curse on Party's hateful strife, The azure liquid flood,
That led the favour'd youth astray ; Skims swiftly, harbinger of Spring,
The day the rebel clans appear'd, Or Morning's sweetest breath,
O had he never seen that day ! Or Flora's kiss, to me can bring
Their colours and their sash he wore, A remedy for death.
And in the fatal dress was found ; For death !-what do I say? Yes, death
And now he must that death endure, Must surely end my days,
Which gives the brave the keenest wound. If cruel Cynthia slights my faith, And will not hear my lays.
How pale was then his true-love's cheek,
When Jemmy's sentence reach'd her ear! No more with festive garlands bound,
For never yet did Alpine snows I at the wake shall be ;
So pale, or yet so chill appear..
ON THE APPROACH OF SFRIN.
With faltering voice, she weeping said
Allow me to muse and to sigh, “Oh Dawson, inonarch of my heart;
Nor talk of the change that ye find; Think not thy death shall end our loves,
None once was so watchful as I ; For thou and I will never part,
I have left my dear Phillis behind. « Yet might sweet Mercy find a place,
Now I know what it is, to have strove And bring relief to Jemmy's woes;
With the torture of doubt and desire ; O George, without a prayer for thee,
What it is to admire and to love, My orisons should never close.
And to leave her we love and admire.
Ah, lead forth my flock in the morn, “The gracious prince that gave himn life,
And the damps of each erening repel; Would crown a never-dying flame;
Alas! I am faint and forlorn : And every tevder babe I bure
- I have bade my dear Phillis farewell. Should learn to lisp the giver's name.
Since Phillis vouchsaf'd me a look, “ But though he should be dragg'd in scorn
I never once dreamt of my vine : To yonder ignominious tree;
May I lose both my pipe and my crook, He shall not want one constant friend
If I knew of a kid that was mine! To share the cruel Fates' decree.”
I priz'd every hour that went by, O then her mourring-coach was call’d,
Beyond all that had pleas'd me before ; The sledge mov'd slowly on before;
But now they are past, and I sigh ; Though bosne in a triumphal car,
And I grieve that I priz'd them no more. She had not lov'd her favourite more.
But why do I languish in vain; She follow'd him, prepar'd to view
Why wander thus pensively here? The terrible behests of Law;
Oh! why did I come from the plain, And the last scene of Jemmy's woes,
Where I fed on the smiles of my dear? With calm and steadfast eye she saw.
They tell me, my favourite majd,
The pride of that valley, is flown; Distorted was that blooming face,
Alas! where with her I have stray'd, Which she had fondly lov'd so long;
I could wander with pleasure, alone. And stifled was that tuneful breath, Which in her praise had sweetly sung.
When forc'd the fair nymph to forgo,
What anguish I felt at my heart! And sever'd was that beauteous neck,
Yet I thought-but it might not be som Round which her arms had fondly clos'd;
'Twas with pain that she saw me depart. And mangled was that beauteous breast,
She gaz'd, as I slowly withdrew : On which her love-sick head repos'd :
My path I could hardly discern; And ravish'd was that constant heart,
So sweetly she bade me adieu, She did to every heart prefer;
I thought that she bade me return. For though it could its king forget,
The pilgrim that journeys all day Twas true and loyal still to her.
To visit some far distant shrine, Amid those unrelenting flames,
If he bear but a relique away, She bore this constant heart to see ;
Is happy, nor heard to repine. But when 't was moulder'd into dust,
Thus widely remov'd from the fair, “Yet, yet,” she cried—“ I follow thee.
Where my vows, my devotion, I owe,
Soft Hope is the relique I bear, “My death, my death alone can show
And my solace wherever I go.
And let us, let us weep no more.”
II. HOPE, The lover's mournful hearse retir'd;
My banks they are furnish'd with bees, The maid drew back her languid head,
Whose murmur invites one to sleep; And, sighing forth his name, expir'd.
My grottos are shaded with trees, Though justice ever must prevail,
And my hills are white over with sheep, The tear my Kitty sheds is due ;
I seldom have met with a loss, For seldom shall she hear a tale
Such health do my fountains bestow ; So sad, so tender, yet so true.
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 : A PASTORAL BALLAD,
Not a beech's more beautiful green,
But a sweet-brier entwines it around, IN FOUR PARTS. 1743.
Not my fields, in the prime of the year, Arbusta humilesque myricæ. Virg.
More charms than my cattle unfold ; 1. ABSENCE.
Not a brook that is limpid and clear,
But it glitters with fishes of gold. Ye shepherds so cheerful and gay,
One would think she might like to retire Whose flocks never carelessly roam ;
To the buwer I have labour'd to rear; Should Corydon's happen to stray,
Not a shrub that I heard her admire, Oh ! call the poor wanderers bome.
But I hasted and planted it there.