TO THE Most Learn'd, and Ingenious, Mr. William Congreve. THIS PASTORAL Is Dedicated by the AUTHOR.[Page][Page 1]
The fond Shepherdess.
Daphne, and Larinda.
1 By a soft murmuring Stream in heat of Day,
2 Remote from all, the sad Larinda lay
3 Beneath the spreading Willows gloomy Shade,
4 (A cool recess by careful Nature made;)
5 There lost in thought, soothing her amorous Pains,
6 Forgot her Flocks, and business of the Plains.
7 The Shepherds wonder'd that she stay'd so long,
8 Each left his Pipe, and stopt his rural Song
9 Searching th' adjacent Woods and Groves around,
10 Impatient all, till they Larinda found.
11 The careful Daphne distant Vallies try'd
12 And there with Joy the pensive Wand'rer spy'd:
13 Ran to her Arms with a transported Hast
14 A thousand times, the sighing Nymph imbrac'd. [Page 2]
15 Tell me, said she, what makes you all neglect,
16 Nor now from Sun, or Wolves your Sheep protect,
17 But let them wander o're th' unbounded Plain,
18 Scorch'd by the one, and by the other Slain?
19 Tho' you may now the greatest numbers Boast
20 Unheeded thus your Flocks will soon be lost.
21 Nay of your self too, you are careless grown
22 Shun all the Nymphs to Muse in Shades alone:
23 Your head's not now, with Rosy Chaplets drest,
24 No fragrant Poesy decks your pensive Breast,
25 Nor decent Rushes strow'd beneath the Shade,
26 Where smiling once with sporting Lambs you play'd.
27 The little Bird you fondly taught to Sing,
28 Releas'd from Cage, and trusted to its Wing:
29 You tore each tender Sonnet you have made,
30 Wish'd the Pipe broke, when sighing Strephon play'd.
31 Ah! why thus peevish? Can your faithful Heart
32 Conceal a Grief from her, who'd bear a Part?
33 No kind Inquirer when with cares opprest,
34 I still repose in yours, my weary'd Breast;[Page 3]
35 But I have now, no Secret to reveal,
36 I've lost some Lambs, as all the Plains can tell.
37 At the approach of last refreshing Show'r,
38 In hast I ran to yonder well fenc'd Bow'r;
39 In the kind shelter too long Sleeping lay,
40 Or Thief, or Wolf, my Darling stole away.
41 Do not evade the Truth, but be sincere;
42 For long ere this, your Eyes did sorrows wear,
43 Besides, I saw you ere you was awake
44 Disturb'd you slept, with eager accents spake,
45 (Oh! my Exalis will you leave me.) Then
46 Foulded your tender Arms, and Slept agen.
47 Nay, do not blush at the discover'd Truth,
48 Too well I know you Love that charming Youth,
49 Oft you together, your mixt Flocks did feed,
50 Delight your selves with his harmonious Reed.
51 If any Straglers, from your Folds did run;
52 Each, would the others seek, neglect their own:
53 Such mutual kindnesses the Soul indear,
54 Exalis was your Joy, and you was all his Care.
55 Oh! Name him not; yes, ever sound that Name,
56 For 'tis in vain to hide th' undoing Flame. [Page 4]
57 I Love, nay rather the bright Youth adore,
58 Eccho ne'r doated on Narcissus more;
59 Nor had he half of my Exalis Charms
60 To tempt the Nymph to his resisting Arms
61 'Mongst all the Swains. Speak Daphne, have you seen
62 A Shape so fine, or such a pleasing Mein,
63 Fair as the Doves which o're our Cottage flys,
64 Soft as their Down, and just such lovely Eyes.
65 His flowing Locks in amorous Ringlets twine,
66 Like the Young curling Tendrils of the Vine:
67 Not Philomel's soft Voice, like his, can move,
68 His ev'ry accent has an Air of Love;
69 All the gay Chaunters of the welcome Spring,
70 Like me, are hush'd and joy'd; if he but speak or Sing
71 A Breath as Sweet, as when the Evening Breeze
72 Salutes us from yon Grove of spicy Trees;
73 His lovely Smiles, soft Brightness do display,
74 Like glowing Blushes of the infant Day.
75 When o'er the Mountain-tops the blooming Light,
76 Darts its Young Beams to th' early Gazers sight,
77 Like Pan himself, the Glory of the Woods,
78 While other Swains seem Mean, attendant Gods:
79 Then who such mighty Charms can e'er resist?
80 Charms like my Love, too great to be exprest. [Page 5]
81 Oh fatal Power of Love, that thus can seize
82 The nice Larinda, whom no Swain could please;
83 But now a Slave, worse than e'er sigh'd for you,
84 You doat to Passion; nay, Distraction too.
85 Tell me, sad softn'd Nymph, how long your Breast,
86 Has been by these too mighty Griefs opprest?
87 Yes, I will tell you; my unweary'd Tongue,
88 Speaking of him, can ne'er think Ages long.
89 Daphne, you know what time the lovely Swain,
90 With his Blest Flocks, has grac'd our happy Plain:
91 From the first Hour, he did obliging prove;
92 (I little thought, to pay him back in Love)
93 He within bounds, my wandring Lambs would keep,
94 When I was weary, gladly Fold my Sheep.
95 And as I rested, in the verdant Shade,
96 On oaten Reeds melodious Airs he play'd.
97 The listning Shepherds not far distant stand,
98 Pleas'd, and yet envying that dear skilful Hand:
99 Not Pan's immortal Pipe, could more Inspire,
100 Or glad the Plains, than my Exalis Lyre. [Page 6]
101 It Joy'd all Hearts, to mine did Fatal prove,
102 And taught my listning Soul, the way to Love.
103 On a fresh Bank, by a clear Fountain side,
104 (Where Flora smil'd with gaudy vernal Pride.
105 Phoebus was gone, to Thetis yielding Arms,
106 But Luna left her Dear, Endymion's Charms;
107 Smil'd o'er the Grove, scarce Day it self more Bright,
108 And thro' the Boughs, sprinkled the Shade with Light.)
109 There with gay Innocence, supine we sate,
110 Hear'd injur'd Philomel her Wrongs relate,
111 But no forwarning Bird told my approaching Fate.
112 Then as I lean'd on the enamel'd Ground,
113 I cropt the fragrant Flowers all around;
114 The various Colours, artfully I plac'd,
115 And with them pleas'd Exalis Bosom dress'd.
116 To him a Crook and Beachen bowl I gave,
117 (Did with my careful Hand the last Ingrave,)
118 One side, with various Silvan Nymphs, I grac'd,
119 And on the other Pan and Flora plac'd.
120 Take these, said I; for all the generous Care,
121 In which, so oft, my Flocks and I did share;[Page 7]
122 And when I die, Exalis take them too,
123 Tho' lost to me, they'll Joy to be with you;
124 Like me, they'r wonted to your gentle Call;
125 I only grieve their number is so small.
126 He smil'd to hear the tender things I said,
127 While grateful looks his pleasing Answers made;
128 And then half Blushing on his Musick play'd,
129 List'ning; that dear undoing Face I view'd,
130 To catch each Smile, which kindly was bestow'd.
131 But Oh! too long, too long I gazeing sate;
132 My Soul, with softning Airs, prepar'd by Fate,
133 Took the Impression of that charming Face,
134 Which, Smiling, darted Glory round the Place:
135 A thousand Loves in amorous Fires drest,
136 With one dear look pierc'd my too ready Breast:
137 I thought Heaven's Brightness in those radiant Eyes,
138 And blusht, and fainted at the soft surprize;
139 Yet hop'd the mighty Transport would be o'er,
140 And the gay Youth but please as heretofore:
141 But oh! you may as soon yon Mountain move,
142 As raze out the immortal Characters of Love.
143 Then with what caution should we guard the Breast,
144 And the first glimmering of the Flame resist? [Page 8]
145 A Flame, so fatal, that it doth Destroy,
146 In sad Larinda, every thought of Joy:
147 If all kind Breasts are with such torture mov'd,
148 May I ne'er Love, nor ever be be lov'd?
149 No; rather let me and my Flocks, be drove
150 From this fresh Pasture, and delightful Grove;
151 Confin'd to barren Sands and scorchhing Sun,
152 Where no Shades near, nor useful Waters run;
153 Fainted with wandring o'er the fiery Dust,
154 Famish'd for Food, Parch'd up with Heat and Thirst:
155 My darling Lambs around me bleat Complaints;
156 I void of all, that can relieve their Wants:
157 Yet I'd endure this piercing Scene of Woe;
158 These utmost ills poor Daphne's State can know:
159 Rather then Love, should my gay Breast subdue,
160 With such soft amorous Griefs as torture you;
161 Ah why, would you indulge the fond desire.
162 And not at first Stifle the growing Fire?
163 At its Approach, with tender warmth were Blest,
164 The lambent Flame plays, with the sporting Breast,
165 And give such Joys, none would, or can resist. [Page 9]
166 No Lover yet, could e'er of Forecast Boast,
167 Percieve no Ruin, till they know they'r lost:
168 Now with the fondest Flames of Love I burn,
169 Doom'd to the certain Curse of no return.
170 When to the fickle Youth, I own'd I lov'd,
171 His Flocks he straight to Ida's Plains remov'd;
172 He ne'er returns, to see how mine do fare,
173 Nor I, nor they, are now no more his Care.
174 Curse on my Love, which did itself disclose,
175 By what should keep, I did my Charmer lose;
176 Now I no more must see his lovely Face,
177 Hear his inchanting Voice, his melting Lays;
178 Lays, which in coldest Breasts would Raptures move
179 Make the Soul Gay, and ev'ry Pulse beat Love.
180 Gods! how he'd look and Smile; how was I blest,
181 When the charm'd Youth, lean'd on my willing Breast,
182 Spake things as soft, as the kind Hand he prest?
183 But now all's lost, I rage beyond redress,
184 (He'l ne'er return, nor I e'er Love him less.)
185 First, I was cautious to conceal my Flame,
186 Now every Breath repeats his dear Lov'd Name:
187 I carve, Exalis on each smooth bark'd Tree,
188 That if the mangl'd Woods could vocal be,
189 They'd surely Curse my fond Barbarity. [Page 10]
190 Each sigh has such a tender Emphasis,
191 As moves Compassion, in all Breasts but his:
192 For all the Swains are Conscious that I Love;
193 Each Tow'ring Hill, and every humble Grove;
194 I've tir'd them all, with my incessant Crys,
195 Ecchoes grown faint, repeating of my sighs:
196 My Sighs, whose force move ev'ry Bough to Mourn,
197 In pitying murmurs that I've no return:
198 Oft do I run to the inviting Shade,
199 Where first his pleasing Smiles, my Soul betray'd;
200 There lay me down in the dear sacred Place,
201 Which kindly once, his lovely Form did Grace;
202 Then weep his Absence; Rage and Rave in vain,
203 For oh! I ne'er must be so Blest again;
204 I try if Slumbers will afford Relief,
205 But as they sooth, so they augment my Grief.
206 I clasp him then in my glad wishing Arms,
207 Gaze on his Eyes, and feast me with his Charms;
208 But when awake; I rage to find him gone,
209 To lose the lovely Prize, I thought I'd won.
210 Search ev'ry Corner of the winding Grove;
211 Ask every Shade, to give me back my Love.
212 There silent all, and empty of such Bliss;
213 In vain I seek for Joys, I'm doom'd to miss:[Page 11]
214 Too well Exalss knows he gives delight,
215 But he Industriously avoids my sight,
216 Tho' Prayers, and Tears, and Gifts, and blooming Love invite.
217 If he absents, to cure me 'tis in vain,
218 For still his bright Idea doth remain,
219 And ev'ry moment Charms me into Pain.
220 Other Youths may moderate Passion move;
221 As he's all lovely, I'm all over Love:
222 Lost to all else, insensible I seem,
223 And only know I'm something doats on him
224 If I would count my Sheep into the Fould,
225 Forget their number ere they half are told;
226 And when the Nymphs my heedlesness do blame,
227 I answer all, by sighing of his Name.
228 Farewel, my Daphne, I must leave thee now,
229 One pitying Tear, on my sad Fate bestow;
230 Return thou Glory of the Joyful Grove,
231 May'st thou be Blest, for may'st thou never Love.
232 Farewel my once lov'd Flocks, my rural Store;
233 Larinda now will ne'er regard you more.
234 But wing'd with Love, to Ida's Plains I'll fly:
235 Find my Exalis out; to see me die. [Page 12]
236 No longer on my tedious Griefs I'll wait,
237 That melting Name so often I'll repeat,
238 Till the soft sound dissolve the Knot of Fate.
239 Curss'd by his Absence, Life is tedious grown;
240 Now he shall see what his neglect has done.
241 While I can gaze, it shall be on his Charms,
242 And tho' not live; die in those lovely Arms;
243 But if he envying, think that Bliss too great,
244 I'll sigh my Soul out, at his careless Feet;
245 Then let one pitying Look but Grace my Death,
246 I'll Bless the Cause, with my expiring Breath.
247 Hear me Great Pan, Sylvanus, all ye Gods,
248 Whose sacred Power, protects the Plains and Woods,
249 Hear my last Prayer; (to you I oft did Bow,
250 With Milk and Hony, made your Altars Flow.)
251 While my sad Shade, mourns in the dusky Grove,
252 Releas'd from Life; (but not the Pains of Love.)
253 Bless my Exalis, let him know no Cares,
254 Increase his plenteous Herds, and peaceful Years:
255 From Fox and Wolf, preserve his tender Lambs,
256 And with Twin-births, enrich the fruitful Dams.
257 When his fair Flocks the Shearers care demands,
258 Luxuriant Fleeces, tire their num'rous Hands. [Page 13]
259 The industrious Bees load their melifluous Hive,
260 And all his rural Wealth, beyond his Wishes thrive.
261 But above all, ye Gods, regard him most,
262 Save him from parching Sun and piercing Frost:
263 Shelter him safe, e'er any Storm appear,
264 And let him be to you, as to Larinda dear.
265 I bounteous Gods, for plenty first bespoke,
266 Now for his Pleasures, Flora thee invoke:
267 Let my soft Prayers, thy vernal Glories bring,
268 Bless Ida's Plains, with glad eternal Spring:
269 The Pasture gay, no hurtful Weeds be found,
270 But Pancies, Hyacinths, 'ore spread the Ground;
271 Mirtle and Firr make every Decent mound:
272 Let lofty Cedars and the stately Pine,
273 With mingling Boughs in mutual Shades combine:
274 Then the delicious Eglantine and Rose,
275 With fragrant Jess'mine humbler Bowers compose
276 (Where the dear Youth may oft supinely Rest,
277 With pleasing Dreams, in Golden slumbers Blest,)
278 When Heat or Thirst, to flowing Streams invite,
279 Let sporting Naiads entertain his Sight;
280 Birds chearful Notes, the Woods and Vallies fill,
281 From spicy Trees which odourous Gums distil. [Page 14]
282 Amongst these Aromaticks rich Fruits plac'd,
283 Fair to the Sight, as those Hesperian grac'd,
284 Which both Invite, and Please the longing Tast.
285 The cluster'd Boughs, Complaisantly recline,
286 As if they Joy'd the Gatherers hand to Join,
287 And all the choicest, still my Love be thine.
288 And when in Honour, Goddess, to thy Name,
289 The joyful Swains, in sports their Thanks Proclaim,
290 Whether they Pipe, or Dance, or Sing, or Play,
291 May my Exalis, bear the Prize away.
292 From Shepherd's Hands the welcome Garland wear,
293 For oh! I Grudge the Nymphs shou'd come so near
294 Yet if 'twill please him best; then smiling come,
295 And with glad Voices sing the Victor home;
296 With choicest Flowers strow all the joyful Path,
297 Gay as his Looks, sweet as his tuneful Breath.
298 Then some kind Nymph the fragrant Pavement take
299 His pressing Feet, give double Odours back;
300 Each Rose, Anemone, more Beauteus make:
301 Let them fresh Mixture with the Cypress have,
302 Then strow them all on my untimely Grave. [Page 15]
303 They too were Lovers once, tho' now transform'd,
304 May I like them, to some kind Plant be turn'd;
305 And when Exalis, next in Triumph's led,
306 Make Poseys for his Breast, and Garlands for his Head:
307 Let not the Nymph upbraid, when shes return'd,
308 My Grave is fill'd, and grac'd with what he scorn'd:
309 Lest, he relenting, should one Moment grieve,
310 To save a Sigh, I'd be condemn'd to Live:
311 With raging Madness, mourn my absent Bliss,
312 And with my Cries wound every Ear but his.
313 Here the Nymph fainted with excess of Grief,
314 And careful Daphne, strove to give Relief.