[Page 83]



1 WHERE can the wretched find relief from wo,
2 Or sue for comfort in life's dreary vale?
3 Here can philosophy no aid bestow,
4 And reason must in all her efforts fail.
5 What bosom feels not, while with deepest sighs,
6 In fault'ring accents, I of Fate complain?
7 A pale and mangl'd corps Amanda lies;
8 O that by savage hands she had been slain!
[Page 84]
9 It was her own, on fatal purpose bent,
10 To dark oblivion be the deed consign'd;
11 Nor let officious mem'ry thus torment,
12 With wild reflection my disorder'd mind.
13 Ah! what is happiness? an airy dream:
14 While stupid mortals fondly hope its stay,
15 Supinely basking in the transient gleam,
16 A sudden blast dispels the glimm'ring ray.
17 Amanda, late the fairest of the throng,
18 Of all our rural nymphs she was the pride:
19 I saw, I lov'd, nor did I languish long,
20 With modest blushes she became my bride.
21 We then the sweets of social life did prove,
22 Blest in our lot, nor did we sigh for fame.
23 A comely boy, the pledge of mutual love,
24 Enhanc'd our pleasure, and our care did claim.
25 What words can paint the horrors of my breast,
26 While briefly I the tragic scene disclose?
27 Pale death our darling infant did arrest,
28 One direful night when sunk in soft repose.
[Page 85]
29 No tender guardian mark'd his latest sigh;
30 No cordial did his quiv'ring lips receive;
31 So have I seen a flow'r of fairest die,
32 Bud in the morn, and fade before 'twas eve.
33 Amanda view'd the change with wild surprise;
34 Tumult'ous passions did her bosom swell;
35 Nor could she long the fervid flame disguise;
36 An awful victim to despair she fell!
37 She's gone, and Nature seems a blank to me;
38 No charm appears in all its large domain.
39 The songsters silent sit upon the tree,
40 Or pour their notes in melancholy strain.
41 The banks of Irvine yield me no delight,
42 Nor can bright Phoebus cheer me by his ray:
43 In restless tossing still I spend the night,
44 Nor comfort find at the return of day.
45 The briny tears in copious torrents flow,
46 Nor can my trembling hand the theme pursue:
47 The pangs I feel may Damon never know
48 Amanda's gone, my dearest friend adieu.


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Genres: heroic quatrain; elegy

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Source edition

Little, Janet, 1759-1813. The Poetical Works of Janet Little, the Scotch Milkmaid. Air: Printed by John & Peter Wilson, 1792, pp. 83-85.  (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)