Tag Archives: pastoral

Charlotte Lennox, “A Pastoral, from the Song of Solomon”

CHARLOTTE LENNOX

“A Pastoral, from the Song of Solomon”

 

OH! tell me, thou who all my Soul inspires,
Source of my Joys, and Partner of my Fires,
By what clear Stream, or nigh what flow’ry Mead
Thy tender Flocks with wanton Pleasure feed:
Where does my Dear, my lovely Wand’rer stray;                                       5
Tell me, and guide my weary Steps that Way.

In vain I trace the Plains, each winding Grove;
No Swain directs me to my absent Love:
Close in the Covert of some Shade he lyes;
Some envious Shade conceals him from my Eyes:                                    10
Bear then my soft Complainings to his Ear;
Ye whis’pring Winds, let him my Accents hear;
The well-known Sounds will wake the lingering Swain,
And bring him panting to my Arms again.

Alas! not yet my cruel Love returns:                                                        15
I rave; my Breast with jealous Fury burns:
Cold Tremblings seize on ev’ry vital Part;
The Blood runs freezing to my panting Heart;
Dim Shadows swim before my closing Sight,
And my griev’d Soul prepares to take its Flight.                                            20

Hark; what sweet Accents breaks the ambient Air;
Sure ’tis my Love’s melodious Voice I hear:
Now to my Arms my charming Shepherd flies;
Heaven to my Arms, and Transport to my Eyes,
Oh! on thy panting Breast let me recline,                                                      25
And let thy folding Arms around me twine;
With Vows of Love my anxious Fears controul,
And whisper Ease to my distracted Soul.

Arise, my Love, the Enslaver cries,
My beauteous Maid, my lovely Fair, arise;                                                     30
For lo, the Rain is o’er, the Winter’s past,
And balmy Sweets perfume the southern Blast,
Like thee, all Nature smiles; the Fields around,
Are with a new returning Verdure crown’d:
Hark what sweet Musick fills the vocal Grove;                                               35
Each feather’d Songster tunes its Notes to Love:
What Odours do these op’ning Buds exhale,
Yet cannot o’er thy greater Sweets prevail,
Or their enchanting Beauties thine excell.
That Lilly shines but with a borrow’d Grace,                                                  40
And Roses blush to emulate thy Face;
Nor can the Violet’s admired Dye
Match the bright Azure of thy shining Eye;
See where you tread, fresh blooming Flowers arise,
New Charms appear where’er you turn your Eyes;                                       45
For thee the Streams in softer Murmurs flow;
For thee sweet Airs the whisp’ring Zephirs blow;
For thee the Cedars form a grateful Shade,
And brighter Colours paint th’ enamell’d Mead:
Oh! come then thro’ these sweet Meanders stray;                                         50
Arise, my Love; my fair One, come away.

Yes, dearest Object of my soft Desire,
Thou sweet Inspirer of my endless Fire;
With thee I’ll trace the Groves, each winding Mead,
And follow where thy charming Footsteps lead:                                            55
Yet let me view thee; on that lovely Face
Let me with fond extatic Rapture gaze;
Let thy Voice charm me with its Magick Sound,
And my fond Soul with thrilling Pleasure wound;
For sweet’s thy Beauties to my ravish’d Sight,                                                60
And thy dear Voice my list’ning Ears delight.

See on that Couch, with Nature’s Bounties spread,
At Ease reclin’d, my lovely Shepherd’s laid:
What Beauties in that smiling Form appear;
How soft, how mild, how more than heavenly fair.                                        65
Ye tender Virgins, awful Silence keep;
Ye sighing Gales prolong his balmy Sleep:
Thou sleep’st, my Love; but still thy waking Heart
Bears in my soft Inquietudes a Part.
My Image every present with thee seems,                                                        70
Haunts all thy Slumbers, and informs thy Dreams,
In ev’ry Wish, in ev’ry Thought I’m thine;
And oh! be thou for ever, ever mine.

Behold, he wakes, and here with Transport flies;
What streaming Glories sparkle from his Eyes:                                                75
Oh, turn them from me, hide their beauteous Beams;
The Sun with less refulgent Brightness gleams:
Do not such sweet, such magick Rays dispence,
Like pow’rful Sweets they overcome my Sense;
Oh, set me, as a Seal upon thy Heart,                                                                80
Mark’d for my own, I claim the smallest Part;
Shou’dst Thou (but sure the wounding Thought is vain)
For any other lovely Maid complain;
Take from me, Heav’n, the fleeting Breath you gave,
For Love’s as strong as Death, and pow’rful as the Grave.                              85

NOTES:

Title Song of Solomon A Biblical reference; “This book has no theology — it is devoted instead to a single subject, the love and passion between woman and man” (Carl W. Ernest, Interpreting the Songs of Songs: The Paradox of Spiritual and Sensual Love,” UNC Chapel Hill (http://www.unc.edu/%7Ecernst/sosintro.htm).

4 wanton Undisciplined, ungoverned; unmanageable, rebellious” (OED).

8 Swain “A country gallant or lover; a lover, wooer, sweetheart, esp. in pastoral poetry” (OED).

21 Hark “To give ear or listen to; to hearken to, hear with active attention” (OED).

34 Verdure “The fresh green colour characteristic of flourishing vegetation; greenness, viridity” (OED).

47 Zephirs “A soft mild gentle wind or breeze” (OED).

49 Meanders “To follow a winding course” (OED).

57 Rapture “A state, condition, or fit of intense delight or enthusiasm” (OED).

67 Gales “A gentle breeze” (OED).

69 Inquietudes “The fact or condition of being inquieted or having one’s quiet disturbed; disturbance” (OED).

77 refulgent “Shining with, or reflecting, a brilliant light; radiant, resplendent; gleaming, lustrous” (OED).

Source: Poems on Several Occasions. Written by a Young Lady (London, 1747), pp.1-6. [Google Books]

Edited by Sydney Brunner

Mary Leapor, “A Summer’s Wish”

MARY LEAPOR

“A Summer’s Wish”

 

My Guardian, bear me on thy downy Wing
To some cool Shade where infant Flow’rs spring;
Where on the Trees sweet Hony-suckles blow,
And ruddy Daisies paint the Ground below :
Where the shrill Linnet charms the solemn Shade,                                         5
And Zephyrs pant along the cooler Glade,
Or shake the Bull-rush by a River Side,
While the gay Sun-beams sparkle on the Tide:
O for some Grot whose rustick Sides declare,
Ease, and not Splendor, was the Builder’s Care;                                               10
Where Roses spread their unaffected Charms,
And the curl’d Vine extends their clasping Arms;
Where happy Silence lulls the quiet Soul,
And makes it calm as Summer Waters roll.
Here let me learn to check each growing Ill,                                                       15
And bring to Reason disobedient Will;
To watch this incoherent Breast, and find
What fav’rite Passions rule the giddy Mind.

Here no Reproaches grate the wounded Ear;
We see delighted, and transported hear,                                                            20
While the glad Warblers wanton round the Trees,
And the still Waters catch the dying Breeze,
Grief waits without, and melancholy Gloom:
Come, cheerful Hope, and fill the vacant Room;
Come ev’ry Thought, which Virtue gave to please;                                            25
Come smiling Health with thy Companion Ease:
Let these, and all that Virtue’s self attends,
Bless the still Hours of my gentle Friends:
Peace to my Foes, if any such there be,
And gracious Heav’n give Repose to me.                                                             30

NOTES:

1 downy “Covered in fine, soft hair or feathers” (OED).

5 Linnet “A common and well-known song-bird” (OED).

6 Zephyrs Gentle breezes.

7 Bull-rush “A tall reed-like water plant with strap-like leaves and a dark brown velvety cylindrical head of numerous tiny flowers” (OED).

30 Repose “Give rest to” (OED).

Source: Poems on Several Occasions (London, 1748), p. 21. [Google Books]

Edited by Krishna Manne

Mary Leapor, “The Beauties of the Spring”

MARY LEAPOR

“The Beauties of the Spring”

 

Hail happy Shades, and hail thou cheerful Plain,
Where Peace and Pleasure unmolested reign;
And the cool Rivers murmur as they flow:
See yellow Crowfoots deck the gaudy Hills,                          5
While the faint Primrose loves the purling Rills:
Sagacious Bees their Labours now renew,
Hum round the Blossoms, and extract their Dew:
In their Liv’ries the green Woods appear,
And smiling Nature decks the Infant Year;                             10
See yon proud Elm that shines in borrow’d Charms,
While the curl’d Woodbines deck her aged Arms.

When the streak’d East receives a lighter Gray,
And Larks prepare to meet the early Day;
Through the glad bowers the shrill Anthems run,                   15
While the Groves glitter to the rising Sun:
Then Phillis hastens to her darling Cow,
Whose shining Tresses wanton on her Brow,
While to her Cheek enliv’ning Colours fly,
And Health and Pleasure sparkle in her Eye.                          20
Unspoil’d by Riches, nor with Knowledge vain,
Contented Cymon whistles o’er the Plain;
His Flock dismisses from the nightly Fold,
Observes their Health, and fees their Number told.
Pleas’d with its Being, see the nimble Fawn                           25
Sports in the Grove, or wantons o’er the Lawn,
While the pleas’d Coursers frolick out the Day,
And the dull Ox affects unwieldy Play.

Then haste, my Friend, to yonder Sylvan Bowers,
Where Peace and Silence crown the blissful Hours;               30
In those still Groves no martial Clamours sound;
No streaming Purple stains the guiltless Ground;
But fairer Scenes our ravish’d Eyes employ,
Give a soft Pleasure, and quiet Joy;
Grief flies from hence, and wasting Cares subside,                35
While wing’d with Mirth the laughing Minutes glide.
See, my fair Friend, the painted Shrubs are gay,
And round thy Head ambrosial Odours play;
At Sight of thee the swelling Buds expand,
And op’ning Roses seem to court thy Hand;                          40
Hark, the shrill Linnet charms the distant Plain,
And Philomel replies with softer Strain;
See those bright Lilies shine with milky Hue,
And those Fair Cowslips drop with balmy Dew;
To thee, my fair, the cheerful Linnet sings,                             45
And Philomela warbles o’er the Springs;
For thee those Lilies paint the fertile Ground,
And those fair Cowslips are with Nectar crown’d;
Here let us rest to shun the scorching Ray,
While curling Zephyrs in the Branches play.                           50
In these calm Shades no ghastly Woe appears,
No Cries of Wretches stun our frighted Ears;
Here no gloss’d Hate, no sainted Wolves are seen,
Nor busy Faces throng the peaceful Green;
But Fear and Sorrow leave the careful Breast,                        55
And the glad Soul sinks happily to Rest.

NOTES:

5  Crowfoot  “A name for various species of Ranunculus or Buttercup” (OED).

6  Primrose  “An early flowering European primula” (OED).

11  yon  “A demonstrative word used in concord with a noun to indicate a person or thing” (OED).

12  Woodbines  Name for a climbing plant.

14  Larks  “A name generally used for any bird in the family of alaudidae” (OED).

18  Tresses  Braids on a woman.

22  Cymon  A swain, or young man.

 25  nimble  Quick.

27 Coursers  Horses.

29  Sylvan  “Consisting of or formed by woods or trees” (OED).

32 Purple A reference to blood.

42  Philomel  “A poetic/literary name for the nightingale” (OED).

50  Zephyrs  God of the west wind.

Source: Poems Upon Several Occasions (London, 1748), p. 15. [Google Books]

 Edited by Samantha Yankiling

Ann Yearsley, “To a Friend, on Valentine’s Day”

ANN YEARSLEY

“To a Friend, on Valentine’s Day”

 

Tho’ blooming shepherds hail this day
With love, the subject of each lay,
Yet friendship tunes my artless song,
To thee the grateful themes belong.

STREPHON, I never will repine,                                                5
Tho’ desin’d not thy Valentine;
O’er friendship’s nobler heights we’ll rove,
Nor heed the soft’ning voice of love.

Strangers to Passion’s tyrant reign,
Careless, we’ll range the happier plain,                                  10
Where all those calmer joys we’ll prove,
Which wait sublime platonic love.

Yet I’ll allow a future day,
When friendship must at last give way;
When thou, forgetful, shalt resign                                             15
The maid who wrote this Valentine.

Think not, my friend, I dream of love ,
That with some happier maid thou’lt prove;
Friendship alone is my design
In this officious Valentine.                                                            20

Yet, when that victor God shall reign,
And conquer’d Friendship quits the plain,
This gentle whisperer captive take,
‘T will all they former kindness wake.

But if its pleadings you deny,                                                        25
And fain wou’d have remembrance die,
Then to devouring flames consign
My too ill-fated Valentine.

NOTES:

1 blooming “In the bloom of health and beauty, in the prime of youth” (OED).

5 STREPHON A typical male name used in pastoral poetry (Oxford Reference); repine “To feel or express discontent or dissatisfaction; to grumble, complain” (OED).

12 sublime “ perfect, consummate; supreme” (OED); platonic “ Of love, affection, or friendship: intimate and affectionate but not sexual; spiritual rather than physical” (OED).

26 fain “Gladly, willingly, with pleasure” (OED).

Source: Poems on Several Occasions (London, 1786), p. 21.  [Google Books]

Edited by Katherine Lowden

Anonymous, “Damon’s Complaint for Amynta’s absence. In the person of a despairing Shepherd”

ANONYMOUS

 “DAMON‘s Complaint for AMYNTA‘s absence. In the person of a despairing Shepherd. By a young Lady”

 

AH, hapless fate, and luckless day,
That call’d my lovely nymph away!
O fairest fav’rite of the plain,
Desir’d by all, desir’d in vain;
O thou, my dear, my darling theme,                               5
My morning tho’t, my midnight dream;
Beneath what poplar, or what pine
Dost thou thy slumb’ring charms recline,
While whisp’ring breezes panting play,
And waft the sultry heats away?                                     10
O nymph, return to Damon‘s call,
See! floods of tears in torrents fall!
By which in silence are exprest
The struggling sorrows of my breast.
But ah! how vainly do I mourn,                                      15
And wish my absent Fair’s return!
Perhaps a more deserving swain
Detains her on a distant plain.
Charmer! was all the world my own,
I’d change that world for thee alone!                              20
Lord of my heart, thy love my crown,
With pity I’d on kings look down.
O, then return, no longer stay,
But haste, my fair one, haste away.
Here ev’ry bird, on ev’ry tree,                                         25
Fills ev’ry twig with harmony:
The primrose paints the bank around,
And vi’lets strew th’ impurpled ground:
The tow’ring larks, enchanting, sing,
And gayly smiles the glad’ning spring:                          30
While flocks compleat the rural scene,
And frisk, and ramble round the green.
Beneath yon oak’s expanding shade,
A lovely arbour I have made:
The woodbine, jes’mine, vine and rose,                         35
In various twines the parts compose;
And this I did, O fair ! for thee
To taste the noontide air with me.
Return, return ! thy charms disclose,
O, mistress of my soul’s repose.                                    40
No longer let they Damon sigh,
But songs of joy for tears supply.
Didst thou, my dear Amynta, know
The tort’ring griefs I undergoe,
Pity wou’d, sure, thy heart incline,                                 45
By sympathy to throb with mine.
O, may the Gods thy breast inspire
With some such sympathetic fire!
And, may’st thou then thy Damon bless
In one completed happiness!                                        50
Then shall our fates so close be ty’d,
That nothing can our joys divide:
Thy kisses shall my senses charm;
Thy bliss my breast with bliss shall warn:
Nor, shall I grieve thy griefs to share,                           55
O, fairest of ten thousands fair!

NOTES:

Title Damon’s Complaint for Amynta’s absence A possible reference to John Dryden’s poem, “The Tears Of Amynta, For the Death of Damon. A Song” (1684).

2 nymph “A young and beautiful woman” (OED).

17 swain “A man, youth. Also, esp. in pastoral poetry, a country gallant or lover, wooer, sweetheart” (OED).

27 primrose “A well-known plant bearing pale yellowish flowers in early spring” (OED).

Source: The Gentleman’s Magazine (February, 1748), p. 87. [Google Books]

Edited by Ben Koh

Michael Bruce, “Pastoral Song”

 

MICHAEL BRUCE

 Pastoral Song

To the tune of the Yellow-haird Laddie.

 In May, when the gowans appear on the green,
And flow’rs in the field and the forest are seen;
Where lilies bloom’d bonny, and hawthorns unsprung
The yellow-hair’d laddie oft whistled and sung.

II.

But neither the shades, nor the sweets of the flow’rs,                              5
Nor the blackbirds that warbled on blossoming bow’rs,
Could pleasure his eye, or his ear entertain;
For love was his pleasure, and love was his pain.

III.

The shepherd thus sung, while his flocks all around
Drew nearer and nearer, and sigh’d to the sound:                                           10
Around, as in chains, lay the beasts of the wood,
With pity disarmed, and music subdu’d.

IV.

Young Jessy is fair as the spring’s early flower,
And Mary sings sweet as the bird in her bower:
But Peggy is fairer and sweeter than they;                                                        15
With looks like the morning, with smiles like the day.

V.

In the flower of her youth, in the bloom of eighteen,
Of virtue the goddess, of beauty the queen:
One hour in her presence an aera excels
Amid courts, where ambition with misery dwells.                                            20

VI.

Fair to the shepherd the new-springing flow’rs,
When May and when morning lead on the gay hours;
But Peggy is brighter and fairer than they;
She’s fair as the morning, and lovely as May.

VII.

Sweet to the shepherd the wild woodland found,                                   25
When larks sing above him, and lambs bleat around;
But Peggy far sweeter can speak and can sing,
Than the notes of the warblers that welcome spring.

VIII.

When in beauty she moves by the brook of the plain,
You would call her a Venus new sprung from the main:                                30
When she sings, and the woods with their echoes reply,
You would think than an angel was warbling on high.

IX.

Ye Pow’rs that preside over mortal estate!
Whose nod ruleth Nature, whose pleasure is Fate,
O grant me, O grant me the heav’n of her charms!                                         35
May I live in her presence, and die in her arms!

NOTES:

Title Laddie A term of endearment for a young male in the eighteenth century. (OED)

1 gowans A general term for white or yellow flowers (OED).

3 bonny “From a Yorkshire dialect meaning “pretty” (Grose); hawthorn A thorny bush or small tree (OED).

6 warbled To sing softly (OED), bowrs   Shady place within the trees (OED).

14 bower A young ladies room or cabin (OED).

19 aera Archaic form for “era” (OED).

26 lark General term for a bird (OED); bleat The crying of a lamb or goat (OED).

30 Venus Roman goddess of love and beauty (OED).

Source: Poems on Several Occasions (London, 1770), pp. 14-17. [Google Books]

 Edited by Christopher Lara