Tag Archives: pastoral

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