Page images

STREPHON. Me gentle Delia beckons from the plain; . Then, hid in shades, eludes her eager swain; But feigns a laugh to see me search around, 55 And by that laugh the willing fair is found.

DAPHNIS. The sprightly Sylvia trips along the green; She runs, but hopes she does not run unseen : While a kind glance at her pursuer flies, How much at variance are her feet and eyes! 60

STREPHON. O’er golden sands let rich Pactolus flow, And trees weep amber on the banks of Po; Bright Thames's shores the brightest beauties

yield; Feed here my lambs; I'll seek no distant field.

DAPHNIS. Celestial Venus haunts Idalia’s groves; 65 Diana Cynthus, Ceres Hybla loves : If Windsor shades delight the matchless maid, Cynthus and Hybla yield to Windsor shade.

STREPHON. All nature mourns, the skies relent in showers, Hush'd are the birds, and closed the drooping

flowers : If Delia smile, the flowers begin to spring, The skies to brighten, and the birds to sing.

DAPHNIS. All nature laughs, the groves are fresh and fair, The sun's mild lustre warms the vital air:


$8 She runs, but hopes. Malo me Galatea.'-Virg.
69 All nature mourns. • Aret ager, vitio moriens.'— Virg.


If Sylvia smiles, new glories gild the shore, 75 And vanquish'd nature seems to charm no more.

STREPHON. In spring the fields, in autumn hills I love, At morn the plains, at noon the shady grove, But Delia always; absent from her sight, Nor plains at morn, nor groves at noon delight. 80

DAPHNIS. Sylvia 's like autumn ripe, yet mild as May; More bright than noon, yet fresh as early day: Ev'n spring displeases, when she shines not here; But bless’d with her, 'tis spring throughout the year.

STREPHON. Say, Daphnis, say, in what glad soil appears, 85 A wondrous tree that sacred monarchs bears; Tell me but this, and I'll disclaim the prize, And give the conquest to thy Sylvia's eyes.

DAPHNIS. Nay, tell me first, in what more happy fields The thistle springs, to which the lily yields ; 90 And then a nobler prize I will resign; For Sylvia, charming Sylvia, shall be thine.

DAMON. Cease to contend; for, Daphnis, I decree The bowl to Strephon, and the lamb to thee. Bless'd swains, whose nymphs in every grace

excel; Bless'd nymphs, whose swains those graces sing


so well!

86 A wondrous tree that sacred monarchs bears. An allusion to the royal oak, in which Charles II, had been hid from the pursuit after the battle at Worcester.-P.

92 Sylvia shall be thine. Phyllida solus habeto.'— Virg.

Now rise, and 'haste to yonder woodbine bowers,
A soft retreat from sudden vernal showers :
The turf with rural dainties shall be crown'd, 99
While opening blooms diffuse their sweets around.
For, see! the gathering flocks to shelter tend,
And from the Pleiads fruitful showers descend.



• OR



A Shepherd's boy (he seeks no better name)
Led forth his flocks along the silver Thame,
Where dancing sunbeams on the waters play'd,
And verdant alders form’d a quivering shade.
Soft as he mourn'd, the streams forgot to flow; 5
The flocks around a dumb compassion show ;
The Naiads wept in every watery bower,
And Jove consented in a silent shower.

Accept, O Garth! the Muse's early lays,
That adds this wreath of ivy to thy bays; 10

A shepherd's boy. Spenser,

A shepherd's boy (no better do him call.) 3 The scene of this pastoral by the river side, suitable to the heat of the season; the time, noon.-P.

9 Dr. Samuel Garth, author of the · Dispensary,' was one of the first friends of our poet, whose acquaintance with him began at fourteen or fifteen. Their friendship continued from the year 1703 to 1718, which was that of his death.-P.

Hear what from love unpractised hearts endure; From love, the sole disease thou canst not cure.

• Ye shady beeches, and ye cooling streams, Defence from Phæbus', not from Cupid's beams, To you I mourn; nor to the deaf I sing; 15 The woods shall answer, and their echo ring. The hills and rocks attend my doleful lay; Why art thou prouder and more hard than they ? The bleating sheep with my complaints agree; They parch'd with heat, and I inflamed by thee : The sultry Sirius burns the thirsty plains, 21 While in thy heart eternal winter reigns.

• Where stray ye, Muses, in what lawn or grove, While your Alexis pines in hopeless love? In those fair fields where sacred Isis glides, 23 Or else where Cam his winding vales divides? As in the crystal spring I view my face, Fresh rising blushes paint the watery glass; But since those graces please thy eyes no more, I shun the fountains which I sought before. 30 Once I was skill'd in every herb that grew, And every plant that drinks the morning dew. Ah, wretched shepherd, what avails thy art? To cure thy lambs, but not to heal thy heart !

• Let other swains attend the rural care, 35 Feed fairer flocks, or richer fleeces shear; But nigh yon mountain let me tune my lays, Embrace my love, and bind my brows with bays. That flute is mine, which Colin's tuneful breath Inspired when living, and bequeathed in death :

16 The woods shall answer. Spenser, Epithalamion.

39 Colin. The name taken by Spenser in his Eclogues, where his mistress is celebrated under that of Rosalinda.--Warton.

« PreviousContinue »