A PASTORAL BALLAD.
1 HOW sweet to recall the sweet moments of joy!
2 'Tis this, and this only can Absence employ,
3 Can ease my fond heart, and beguile my soft pain,
4 Till I see with delight my dear charmer again. [Page 91]
5 Ah! who ever knew such full transports as I,
6 While with her, the swift minutes unheeded pass'd by,
7 Alas! with the sweet recollection I burn,
8 Bring back your delights, ye dear moments, return!
9 Ah me! what delights in my bosom would rise
10 While with eager attention I've hung on her eyes,
11 And watch'd the kind beams of Compassion and Love,
12 While she pitied my passion, and seem'd to approve;
13 Ah me! with what raptur'd attention I've hung,
14 To catch the sweet accents that flow'd from her tongue,
15 When tenderness bade the dear maiden impart
16 The pleasing sensations that glow'd in her heart.
17 O how does my Fair one consume the long day?
18 Is the Charmer quite easy while I am away?
19 Indeed if our thoughts like our hearts should agree,
20 The dear lovely maiden is thinking on me:
21 Ah! did she but think with such fondness as I,
22 How much would she grieve, and how oft would she sigh!
23 Yet with so much fond Love may her bosom ne'er burn,
24 If she sighs as I sigh, if she mourns as I mourn.
25 But why do I wander? why sigh thus alone?
26 Alas! 'tis the loss of my Fair that I moan.
27 Why thus every hour does my sorrow increase?
28 Alas! it is Absence that ruins my peace. [Page 92]
29 Why swells my sad bosom with fear and with grief?
30 Ah! nought but her presence can bring me relief.
31 Why thus down my cheek trickles fast the big tear?
32 Alas! can I help it? — my Fair is not here.
33 Till I nourish'd this passion I all unconcern'd
34 Saw Peace my companion wherever I turn'd,
35 Till now with my heart all at ease I could rest,
36 And a sigh was a stranger unknown to my breast.
37 What then is this Love? and why do I endure
38 These griefs in my mind, nor endeavour to cure?
39 When thus my fond heart is o'erwhelm'd with Despair,
40 And I know no delight when away from my Fair?
41 Yet, Colin, these pains, spite of all thou hast said,
42 By one hour of her presence are far over-paid,
43 These sorrows from Absence which now you deplore,
44 Then vanish, are lost, and are thought of no more.
45 Recall those rash words, and forbear to complain,
46 Since the next tender meeting rewards all your pain,
47 Let sweet Expectation then lessen your care,
48 Let Hope soften Absence, and keep off Despair.
49 Sure, sure those dear pleasures once more will return;
50 How long in this Absence distrest must I mourn?
51 How long must I wish, while my lot I deplore,
52 That dear angel-face! — could I see it once more! [Page 93]
53 That dear angel-voice! — Time, how swift didst thou seem,
54 While I listen'd enchanted as Love was her theme!
55 O come those dear hours! and to soothe my fond pain
56 Love again be her theme, and I listen again!
57 How dull and how slow do the moments retreat!
58 Time was when they flew: — now there's lead on their feet.
59 Ye Loiterers, be gone; why so long do ye stay?
60 Ye fly when I'm with her, ye creep when away.
61 Ah! Colin, how foolish Time's progress to blame,
62 His paces are equal, his motions the same;
63 'Twas the joy of her Presence made Time appear fleet,
64 'Tis the pain of her Absence adds lead to his feet.