[Page [75]]


1 YOUNG William once the blithest of the swains,
2 That grac'd the flow'ry bank, or trode the plains;
3 Not rustic, but from affectation free,
4 Still courteous, kind, and affable was he.
5 Of gentlest manners, ever form'd to please;
6 His mind unruffl'd, ever blest with ease;
7 His mien engaging, sweet beyond compare;
8 His breath delicious as the fragrant air;
9 His nature prone, attractive sweets t' impart,
10 Good without shew, and lovely without art.
11 Each nymph him priz'd, and oft they sought, in vain,
12 The noble conquest of his heart to gain,
[Page 76]
13 Their gentlest arts unable were to move,
14 His soul serene, yet undisturb'd by love.
15 Ah! transient happiness! how short thy sway!
16 How swift thy flight! how sudden thy decay!
17 Thy absence now the youth, dejected, mourns,
18 While in his heart love's kindling passion burns.
19 A lovely nymph, adorn'd with ev'ry grace,
20 Fairer than fam'd, of old, Arcadia's race:
21 An easy shape, and graceful in her air,
22 The virgins' envy, and the swains' despair.
23 Her name was Mary, from the banks of Clyde,
24 She came to taste the summer in its pride.
25 One fatal eve, this charming youth pass'd by,
26 And on this blooming damsel cast his eye:
27 Her charms, resistless, smote his gen'rous heart,
28 Surpris'd, confounded, then he felt the smart.
29 Sometime with wonder on the maid he gaz'd,
30 Then silence broke, and thus, like one amaz'd:
31 "What do I feel! from whence this magic spell!
32 Is this that love of which the poets tell?
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33 It must be so; else why this pleasing pain,
34 These sweet enchanting hopes the nymph to gain?
35 This fear, this dread, which does my soul molest?
36 Such things till now were strangers to my breast."
37 He own'd 'twas love, and wish'd to find relief;
38 But warbling songsters can't assuage his grief.
39 The sweets of Spring no pleasure now can yield,
40 Nor all the verdure which adorns the field.
41 To this lost passion all his powers gave way,
42 And in his heart young Mary bore the sway.
43 Go then, fond youth, and tell the maid thy care,
44 Who knows, perhaps she may be kind as fair.
45 Yes, Mary sure will hear thy plaintive strain;
46 'Twas her who caus'd, she too must cure thy pain.
47 Thy passion urg'd, her tender love confest,
48 What maid so happy, or what swain so blest?


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Title (in Source Edition): WILLIAM AND MARY.
Genres: tale

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Little, Janet, 1759-1813. The Poetical Works of Janet Little, the Scotch Milkmaid. Air: Printed by John & Peter Wilson, 1792, pp. [75]-77.  (ESTC T126549) (Page images digitized from a copy in the Library of the University of California, Los Angeles.)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

Other works by Janet Little (later Richmond)