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ABSENCE AND DEATH.

A PASTORAL.

1 When ev'ry eye that knew no cause to weep,
2 And peaceful minds were hush'd in pleasing sleep,
3 Two virgin nymphs, whom Love had left forlorn,
4 Ne'er clos'd their weeping eyes, from eve to morn:
5 For Strephon's absence, Daphne's tears were shed,
6 And Hebe mourn'd her faithful Collin dead;
7 Their sorrows were not to each other known,
8 Alike they mourn'd, and silent was their moan;
9 Awhile they wept, 'till one the silence broke;
10 Thus Hebe answer'd, and thus Daphne spoke.
Daphne.
11 Say, gentle maid, whence spring thy anxious fears?
12 What inward sorrows prompt thy gushing tears?
13 Thy case thou safely may'st to me impart,
14 True to my trust, and faithful from the heart;
15 My grief, I will suspend awhile to hear
16 Thy tale, and shed a sympathetic tear.
Hebe.
17 And will not Daphne then her grief impart?
18 To tell the sorrow, is to ease the heart.
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19 Say first, why heaves thy breast that lab'ring sigh,
20 And Hebe will alternately reply;
21 The plaintive sounds shall die along the vales,
22 And neighb'ring hills resound the moving tales.
Daphne.
23 A shepherd's absence I am doom'd to mourn,
24 While rigid fate forbids him to return;
25 Perhaps, like me, he mourns his forc'd delay,
26 Perhaps some fairer maid may tempt his stay;
27 A while, with flattering gales of hope I steer,
28 Then, dash'd and shipwreck'd on the rock of fear.
Hebe.
29 Young Collin did my yielding heart subdue,
30 A forester he was, and he was true;
31 He vow'd his heart from me should never rove;
32 I heard with joy, and gave him love for love:
33 But my dear swain, my Collin's dead, and I
34 Now live, but only to despair, and die.
Daphne.
35 My shepherd is the choicest of the swains,
36 That climb the hills, or traverse o'er the plains;
37 His radiant eyes beam forth a milder ray,
38 Than the fair star, that leads the dawning day;
39 Nor are the flocks, that graze the palins, so fair
40 As the dear swain that makes those flocks his care.
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Hebe.
41 My forester was comely to behold,
42 His looks were pleasing as the tale he told;
43 The frock he wore, was of a fresher green
44 Than the gay forests, where he oft was seen;
45 And stately he, among his fellow swains,
46 As the tall fir, that o'er the forest reigns.
Daphne.
47 How swift the seasons fly throughout the year,
48 How oft the spring returns without my dear;
49 Yet should some blishful hour, some distant spring,
50 My long-mourn'd Strephon to his Daphne bring;
51 One happy hour with him, wou'd far o'er-pay
52 All I have suffer'd by his long delay.
Hebe.
53 No gloomy phantom has my joys o'er-cast,
54 My hopes are wither'd by a deadly blast;
55 See the surrounding woods, how ev'ry tree
56 Has dropp'd its leaves, and seems to mourn with me;
57 Though spring will quickly re-adorn the grove,
58 Yet I can never hope to see my love.

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    Title (in Source Edition): ABSENCE AND DEATH. A PASTORAL.
    Themes:
    Genres: heroic couplet; pastoral

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    Hands, Elizabeth, 1746-1815. The death of Amnon. A poem. With an appendix: containing pastorals, and other poetical pieces. By Elizabeth Hands. [Coventry]: Printed for the author, by N. Rollason, Coventry, M,DCCLXXXIX., 1789, pp. 59-61. [40],127,[1]p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T141063) (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian [Dunston B 961 (1)].)

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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 Elizabeth Hands (née Herbert)