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Born 1673— Died 1718.
Despairing beside a clear stream,
A shepherd forsaken was laid ;
A willow supported his head.
To his sighs with a sigh did reply;
Ran mournfully murmuring by.
Alas! silly swain that I was ;
Thus sadly complaining he cry'd; When first I beheld that fair face,
'Twere better by far I had died : She talk'd, and I bless'd her dear tongue;
When she smild, 'twas a pleasure too great ; I listen’d, and cry'd when she sung,
Was nightingale ever so sweet !
How foolish was I to believe,
She could dote on so lowly a clown, Or that her fond heart would not grieve,
To forsake the fine folk of the town; To think that a beauty so gay,
So kind and so constant would prove; Or go clad like our maidens in grey,
Or live in a cottage on love?
What though I have skill to complain,
Tho' the muses my temples have crown'd, What tho, when they hear my soft strain,
The virgins sit weeping around ? Ah, Colin! thy hopes are in vain,
Thy pipe and thy laurel resign, Thy false one inclines to a swain,
Whose music is sweeter than thine.
All you, my companions so dear,
Who sorrow to see me betray'd, Whatever I suffer, forbear,
Forbear to accuse the false maid. Tho' thro' the wide world I shou'd range,
"Tis in vain from my fortune to fly; 'Twas hers to be false and to change,
'Tis mine to be constant and die.
If while my hard fate I sustain,
In her breast any pity is found, Let her come with the nymphs of the plain,
And see me laid low in the ground : The last humble boon that I crave,
Is to shade me with cypress and yew ; And when she looks down on my grave,
Let her own that her shepherd was true. Then to her new love let her go,
And deck her in golden array; Be finest at every fine show,
And frolic it all the long day : While Colin, forgotten and gone,
No more shall be talk'd of or seen, Unless when beneath the pale moon,
His ghost shall glide over the green.
(Rowc alludes in this ballast to the Counters Dowager of Warwick, who left him for another swain whose music was sweeter than his own, namely Addison. Dr. Johnson says that the Countess married the poetical Secretary of State on terms“ much like those on which a Turkish Princess is espoused, to whom the Sultan is reported to pronounce, 'Daughter, I give thee this man for thy slave.'” A marriage so unequal made no addition to Addison's happiness.)
MY DAYS HAVE BEEN SO WONDROUS FREE.
Born 1679-Died 1717.
My days have been so wondrous free,
The little birds that fly
Were but as bless'd as I.
Ask gliding waters, if a tear
Of mine increas’d their stream?
I lent one sigh to them?
But now my former days retire,
And I'm by beauty caught,
Are fix'd upon my thought.
Ye swains that haunt the grove !
Ye close retreats of love !
With all of nature, all of art,
Assist the dear design ;
To make my Nancy mine!
As much as of despair ;
Unless it be for her.
'Tis true, the passion in my mind
Is mix'd with soft distress;
I cannot wish it less.
WHEN THY BEAUTY APPEARS.
When thy beauty appears,
In its graces and airs,
At distance I gaze, and am awd by my fears,
But when without art,
Your kind thoughts you impart,
There's a passion and pride
In our sex, she replied,
Still an angel appear to each lover beside,
THE LASS OF RICHMOND HILL.
On Richmond Hill there lives a lass
More bright than May-day morn,
A rose without a thorn.
Has won my right good-will ;
Sweet lass of Richmond Hill.
Ye zephyrs gay, that fan the air,
And wanton thro' the grove,
I die for her I love.
Who calls this nymph his own!
Mine's fix'd on her alone.