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A PASTORAL BALLAD,
IN FOUR PARTS:
Arbusta humilesque myricæ.
Whose flocks never carelessly roam;
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 morn,
And the damps of each ev'ning 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 by,
Beyond all that had pleas’d me before; But now they are pass'd, and I sigh;
And I grieve that I priz'd them na 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 favourite inaid,
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!
'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 reinov'd from the fair,
Where my vows, my devotion, I owe, Soft hope is the relic I bear,
And my solace wherever I go.
Whose murmurs invite one to sleep;
And my hills are white-over with shee 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.
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-briar 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,
Bút it glitters with fishies 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 beard
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,
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 Phyilida 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.
Why term it a folly to grieve?
She is fairer than you can believe.
With her wit she engages the free;