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Allow me to muse and to sigh,
Nor talk of the change that ye find ; None once was so watchful as I ;
I have left my dear Phillis behind. Now I know what it is, to have strove
With the torture of doubt and desire; What it is to admire and to love,
And to leave her we love and admire. Ah! lead forth my flock in the morn,
And the damps of each evening repel; Alas! I am faint and forlorn :
-I have bade my dear Phillis farewell. Since Phillis vouchsaf'd me a look,
I never once dreamt of my vine: May I lose both my pipe and my crook
If I knew of a kid that was mine. I priz'd every hour that went by,
Beyond all that had pleasd me before; But now they are past, and I sigh ;
And I grieve that I priz'd them no more. But why do I languish in vain ;
Why wander thus pensively here? Oh! why did I coine from the plain,
Where I fed on the smiles of my dear? They tell me my favourite maid,
The pride of that valley, is flown. Alas! where with her I have stray'd,
I could wander with pleasure, alone. When forc'd the fair nymph to forego,
What anguish I felt at my heart : Yet I thought-but it might not be so
'Twas with pain that she saw me depart, She gaz'd, as I slowly withdrew;
My path I could hardly discern; So sweetly she bade me adieu,
I thought that she bade me return. The pilgrim that journeys all day,
To visit some far distant shrine, If he bear but a relique away,
Is happy nor heard to repine.
Thus widely remov'd from the fair,
Where my vows, my devotion, I owe, Soft hope is the relique I bear,
And my solace, wherever I go.
My banks they are furnish'd with bees,
Whose murmur invites one to sleep ; My grottoes are shaded with trees,
And my bills are white over with sheep. I seldom have met with a loss,
Such health do my fountains bestow; My fountains all border'd with moss,
Where the hare-bells and violets grow. Not a pine in my grove is there seen,
But with tendrils of woodbine is bound : Not a beech's more beautiful green,
But a sweet-briar entwines it around. Not my fields in the prime of the year,
More charms than thy cattle unfold ;
But it glitters with fishes of gold.
To the bower I have labour'd to rear;
But I hasted and planted it there. O how sudden the jessamine strove
With the lilac to render it gay! Already it calls for my love,
To prune the wild branches away. From the plains, from the woodlands and groves,
What strains of wild melody flow! How the nightingales warble their loves
From thickets of roses that blow ! And when her bright form shall appear,
Each bird shall harmoniously join In a concert so soft and so clear,
As-she may not be fond to resign,
I have found out a gift for my fair ;
I have found where the wood-pigeons breed: But let me that plunder forbear,
She will say 'twas a barbarous deed. For he ne'er could be true, she averr’d,
Who could rob a poor bird of its young: And I lov'd her the more when I heard
Such tenderness fall from her tongue. I have heard her with sweetness unfold
How that pity was due to—a dove: That ever attended the bold;
And she call'd it the sister of love.
So much I her accents adore,
Methinks I should love her the more.
Unmov'd, when her Corydon sighs! Will a nymph that is fond of the plain,
These plains and this valley despise ? Dear regions of silence and shade!
Soft scenes of contentment and ease! Where I could have pleasingly stray'd,
If aught in her absence could please. But where does my Phyllida stray?
And where are her grots and her bowers ? Are the groves and the vallies as gay,
And the shepherds as gentle as ours? The groves may perhaps be as fair,
And the face of the vallies as fine; The swains may in manners compare,
But their love is not equal to mine.
Why will you my passion reprove?
Why term it a folly to grieve?
She is fairer than you can believe.
With her mien she enamours the brave;
With her wit she engages the free ; With her modesty pleases the grave;
She is every way pleasing to me. Oh you
that have been of her train, Come and join in my amorous lays; I could lay down my life for the swain,
That will sing but a song in her praise. When he sings may the nymphs of the town
Come trooping and listen the while; Nay, on him let Phyllida frown ;
- But I cannot allow her to smile. For when Paridel tries in the dance
Any favour with Phyllis to find, O how, with one trivial glance,
Might she ruin the peace of my mind ! In ringlets he dresses his hair,
And his crook is bestudded around; And his pipe-oh may Phyllis beware
Of a magic there is in the sound. 'Tis his with mock passion to glow,
'Tis his in smooth tales to unfold, “ How her face is as bright as the snow,
And her bosom, be sure, is as cold. How the nightingales labour the strain,
With the potes of his charmer to vie; How they vary their accents in vain,
Repine at her triumphs, and die."
And pillages every sweet;
He throws it at Phyllis's feet.
More sweet than the jessamine's flower! What are pinks in a morn, to compare?
What is eglantine after a shower? Then the lilly no longer is white ;
Then the rose is depriv'd of its bloom ; Then the violets die with despight,
And the woodbines give up their perfume.” Thus glide the soft numbers along,
And he fancies no shepherd his peer ; -Yet I never should envy the song,
Were not Phyllis to lend it an ear.
So Phyllis the trophy despise:
So they shine not in Phyllis's eyes.
Is a stranger to Paridel's tongue;
she beware of his art,
YB shepherds give ear to my lay,
And take no more heed of my sheep: They have nothing to do but to stray ;
I have nothing to do but to weep. Yet do not my folly reprove;
She was fair--and my passion begun; She smil'd-and I could not but love;
She is faithless-and I am undone. Perhaps I was void of all thought:
Perhaps it was plain to foresee, That a nymph so complete would be sought
By a swain more engaging than me.
It banishes wisdom the while;
Seems for ever adorn'd with a smile.
Ye that witness the woes I endure; Let reason instruct you to shun
What it cannot instruct you to cure. Beware how you loiter in vain
Amid nymphs of an higher degree: It is not for me to explain
How fair, and how fickle, they be.