Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

C.
THE

GENTLE SHEPHERD;

A

SCOTS

PASTORAL COMEDY.

THĘ GENTLE SHEPHERD sat beside the spring,

All in the shadow of a busby brier,
That Colin hight, which well uld pipe and sing,
For be of TITYRUS his song did lere.

SPENCER.

PHILADELPHIA:

PRINTED FOR BENJAMIN CHAPMAN,

BY A. SMALL.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

SUSANNA,

COUNTESS OF EGLINTON.

[ocr errors]

MADAM,
THE love of approbation, and a desire to please the

a best, have ever encouraged the poets to finish their designs with cheerfulness. But, conscious of their own inability to oppose a storm of spleen and haughty ill-nature, it is generally an ingenious custom among them to chuse some honourable shade.

Wherefore I beg leave to put my pastoral under your adyship's protection. If my patroness says, the shefherds speak as they ought, and that there are several natural flowers that beautify the rural wild, I shall have good reason to think myself safe from the aukward censure of some pretending judges that condemn before examination.

I am sure of vast numbers that will crowd into your Ladyship's opinion, and think it their honour to agree in their sentiments with the countess of Eglinton, whose penetration, superior wit, and sound judgment, shine with an uncommon lustre, while accompanied with the divine charms of goodness and equality of mind.

If it were not for offending only your ladyshis, here, madam I might give the fullest liberty to my muse to delineate the finest of women, by drawing your lady. ship's character, and be in no hazard of being deemed a flatterer, since flattery lies not in paying what is due te morit, but in praises misplaced.

Were I to begin with your ladyship's honourable birth and alliance, the field is ample, and presents us with numberless great and good patriots, that have dignified the names of Kennedy and Montgomery: Be that the care of the herald and the historian. It is personal merit, and the heavenly sweetness of the fair, that inspire the tuneful lays: here every Lesbia must be excepted, whose tongue give liberty to the slaves which their eyes had made captives; such may be flattered: but your ladyship justly claims our admiration and profoundest respect; for whilst you are possessed of every outward charm in the most perfect degree, the never fading beauties of wisdom and piety, which adorn your ladyshif's mind, command devotion.

“ All this is very true," cries one of better sense than good nature, “ but what occasion have you to tell us the sun shines, when we have the use of our eyes, and feel his influence?"-Very true, but I have the liberty to use the poet's privilege, which is, “To speak what every body thinks." Indeed there might be some strength in the reflection, if the Idalian registers were of as short duration as life; but the bard, who fondly hopes immortality, has a certain praise-worthy pleasure in communi. cating to posterity the fame of distinguished characters

I write this last sentence with a hand that trembles between hope and fear: but if I shall prove so happy as to please your ladyship in the following attempts then all my doubts shall vanish like a morning vapour: I shall hope to be classed with Tasso and Guarini, and sing with Ovid,

If 'tis allow'd to poets to divine,
One half of round eternity is mine,"
Madam, your ladyship's most obedient,
and most devoted servant,

ALLAN RAMSAY.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

ACCEPT, O EGLINTON! the rural lays,
That, bound to thee, thy poet humbly pays !
The muse, that oft has rais'd her tuneful straing
A frequent guest on Scoria's blissful plains;
That oft has sung, her list’ning youth to move,
The charms of beauty and the force of love,
Once more resumes the still successful lay,
Delighted, thro' the verdent meads to stray.
O! come, invok'd, and pleas'd, with her repair
To breath the balmy sweets of purer air ;
In the cool ev’ning negligently laid,
Or near the stream, or in the rural shade,
Propitious hear, and, as thou hear'st, approve
The Gentle Shepherd's tender tale of love.

a

Instructed from these scenes, what glowing fires
Inflame the breast that real love inspires !
The fair shall read of ardors, sighs and tears,
All that a lover hopes, and all he fears :
Hence, too, what passions in his bosom rise!
What' dawning gladness sparkles in his eyes!
When first the fair one, piteous of his fate,
Cur'd of her scorn, and vanquish'd of her hate,
With willing mind, is bounteous to relent, .
And blushing, beauteous, smiles the kind consent!
Love's passion here in each extreme is shown,
In CHARLOTTE's smile, or in MARIA's frown,

« PredošláPokračovať »