A PASTORAL BALLAD.
IN TWO PARTS.
1 ALEXIS, the pride of the plain,
2 Beside a clear brook lay reclin'd,
3 His complaint was fair Daphne's disdain,
4 Who had prov'd to the shepherd unkind:
5 His flock was no longer his care,
6 His pipe now no longer could please,
7 He neglected his dress and his hair,
8 And by solitude fed his disease.
9 "Poor shepherd! he wildly exclaim'd,
10 " Alas! what avails all thy moan?
11 "The joys thy fond fancy had fram'd,
12 " With Daphne for ever are flown!
13 "How could you, O Daphne, deceive
14 " A swain not unworthy your love?
15 "Why didst thou, Alexis, believe
16 " Such a maid could thy passion approve?
17 "Her form is replete with each grace,
18 " The diamond beams forth in her eye,
19 "The lily expands o'er her face,
20 " And the rose-bud imparts its soft dye.
21 "No warbler can rival her song,
22 " Philomela with envy complains,
23 "The streams glide in silence along,
24 " The glad Zephyrs diffuse her soft strains.
25 "When Daphne appear'd in the mead,
26 " Her presence enliven'd the morn,
27 "Now the winds roughly blow round my head,
28 " And the sun's chearful beams are withdrawn.
29 "No longer these meadows look green,
30 " Now the warblers abandon the grove,
31 "The air breathes no longer serene,
32 " All Summer is fled with my love.
33 "Oh! Daphne, you heard my fond sighs,
34 " You did not my passion disdain,
35 "When I gaz'd with delight on your eyes,
36 " My soft glances you did not restrain:
37 "But now you make sport of my woes,
38 " And laugh at the sufferings I feel,
39 "I enjoy not the sweets of repose,
40 " Nor can I my torments conceal!
41 "Farewell, ye sad scenes of my love,
42 " I shall never revisit you more!
43 "Adieu to the mead an he grove,
44 " 'Twas here I first learn'd to adore!
45 "I will banish this wretch from her sight,
46 " I know not what fate may ensue,
47 "Never more can I taste of delight,
48 " To every enjoyment adieu. "
PART THE SECOND.
1 WITH a torrent of heart-bursting grief
2 Alexis continues his moan,
3 Tears gave him some little relief,
4 Yet he ceas'd not to sigh and to groan.
5 Pastora by chance hasten'd by,
6 She saw the poor shepherd's despair,
7 Soft pity appear'd in her eye,
8 She ask'd him the source of his care.
9 "What cause has Alexis to weep?"
10 With looks of compassion, she said;
11 "Have you lost e'er a lamb or a sheep?
12 " Or is Tray the poor favourite dead?
13 "Or, perhaps, your fair Daphne's unkind,
14 " Perhaps for her coyness you grieve,
15 "Ah! 'tis jealousy poisons your mind!
16 " But appearances often deceive. "
17 The shepherd just rais'd up his head,
18 He thank'd the kind maid for her care,
19 He confess'd that all comfort was fled,
20 And nothing was left but despair.
21 Pastora e'en wept at the tale,
22 And wish'd she could ease his distress;
23 Could her interest with Daphne prevail,
24 His suffering should soon find redress.
25 He gaz'd on the fair with surprize,
26 And admir'd the good-nature she shew'd,
27 When she went he withdrew not his eyes,
28 But with pleasure her footsteps pursu'd.
29 Her sweetness, her beauty, and truth,
30 With Daphne's late falshood compar'd,
31 So charm'd, so astonish'd the youth,
32 That his heart for a change was prepar'd.
33 Yet still his fond wish would arise,
34 "Ah! was but my Daphne thus kind!
35 " I would wipe off these tears from my eyes,
36 "And give up my sighs to the wind!"
37 He said, and arose from the ground,
38 Then instant return'd to his cot,
39 Soon in sleep every suffering was drown'd,
40 And Daphne's unkindness forgot.
41 With the sun the next morn he arose,
42 Pastora he sought in the grove,
43 He repeated the tale of his woes,
44 And mourn'd the sad fate of his love!
45 Pastora heard every complaint;
46 Again he imparted his grief,
47 He talk'd without fear or constraint,
48 And found from her converse, relief.
49 The friendship he felt for the fair,
50 Each meeting still serv'd to improve;
51 He then blest his late cause of despair,
52 And became a true votary to Love.
53 'Twas no longer for beauty he sigh'd,
54 He no longer to merit was blind,
55 'Twas his joy, and a laudable pride,
56 That he valu'd the charms of the mind.
57 Pastora with blushes confest,
58 That she felt all the force of true love;
59 But that reason her passion supprest,
60 Yet that now she must own and approve.
61 She soon gave her hand to the swain,
62 Who proclaim'd to each shepherd this truth,
63 He had met a reward for his pain,
64 More lasting than beauty and youth.
65 When Spring decks with verdure the mead,
66 Love wafts milder fragrance around;
67 When Summer invites to the shade,
68 Love strews with fresh flowrets the ground.
69 In Autumn thro' corn-fields they rove,
70 And their loves as in Spring-time appear,
71 Tho' Winter disrobes the known grove,
72 Yet their love varies not with the year.
73 Ye Nymphs, to this maxim attend,
74 Tho' beauty awhile may allure,
75 Yet to fix in the lover the friend,
76 'Tis virtue alone is secure!
77 Ye Swains, who are caught by a face,
78 Know, that beauty will quickly decay;
79 That virtue still heightens each grace,
80 And imparts more than Time steals away!