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ALEXIS shunn'd his fellow-swains,

Their rural sports and jocund strains;
(Heav'n guard us all from Cupid's bow!)
He lost his crook, he left his flocks,
And, wandering through the lonely rocks,
He nourish'd endless woe.

The nymphs and shepherds round him came:
His grief some pity, others blame;

The fatal cause all kindly seek:
He mingled his concern with theirs;
He gave them back their friendly tears;
He sigh'd, but would not speak.
Clorinda came among the rest,
And she, too, kind concern express'd,
And ask'd the reason of his woe:
She ask'd, but with an air and mien
That made it easily foreseen

She fear'd too much to know.

The shepherd rais'd his mournful head';
'And will you pardon me, (he said)

While I the cruel truth reveal,
Which nothing from my breast should tear,
Which never should offend your ear,
But that you bid me tell?

"Tis thus I rove, 'tis thus complain,
Since you appear'd upon the plain;
You are the cause of all my care:
Your eyes ten thousand dangers dart,
Ten thousand torments vex my heart;
I love, and I despair.'

'Too much, Alexis, I have heard:
"Tis what I thought, 'tis what I fear'd;
And yet I pardon you, (she cried)

But you shall promise ne'er again

To breathe your vows or speak your pain :'He bow'd, obey'd, and died.


S Nancy at her toilet sat,

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Admiring this and blaming that,
'Tell me, (she said) but tell me true,
The nymph who could your heart subdue,
What sort of charms does she possess?'
'Absolve me, fair-one, I'll confess
With pleasure,' I replied: Her hair,
In ringlets rather dark than fair,
Does down her ivory bosom roll,
And, hiding half, adorns the whole.
In her high forehead's fair half round
Love sits in open triumph crown'd;
He in the dimple of her chin,
In private state, by friends is seen:
Her eyes are neither black nor grey,
Nor fierce nor feeble is their ray;
Their dubious lustre seems to show
Something that speaks nor Yes nor No.
Her lips no living bard, I weet,

May say how red, how round, how sweet:
Old Homer only could indite

Their vagrant grace and soft delight:

They stand recorded in his book,
When Helen smil'd and Hebe spoke'-
The gipsy, turning to her glass,
Too plainly show'd she knew the face;
And which am I most like, (she said)
Your Chloe or your Nut-brown maid?"



To Mr. Hugh Howard, the Painter.

EAR Howard, from the soft assaults of love
Poets and painters never are secure;

Can I, untouch'd, the fair-ones' passions move,
Or thou draw beauty, and not feel its pow'r?

To great Apelles when young Ammon brought
The darling idol of his captive heart,
And the pleas'd nymph, with kind attention, sat
To have her charms recorded by his art;

The amorous master own'd her potent eyes,
Sigh'd when he look'd, and trembled as he drew;
Each flowing line confirm'd his first surprise,
And as the piece advanc'd, the passion grew.

While Philip's son, while Venus' son, was near,
What different tortures does his bosom feel?
Great was the rival, and the god severe;

Nor could he hide his flame, nor durst reveal.

The prince, renown'd in bounty as in arms,
With pity saw the ill-conceal'd distress;
Quitted his title to Campaspe's charms,

And gave the fair-one to the friend's embrace.

Thus the more beauteous Chloe sat to thee,
Good Howard, emulous of the Grecian art;
But happy thou, from Cupid's arrow free,
And flames, that pierc'd thy predecessor's heart.
Had thy poor breast receiv'd an equal pain,
Had I been vested with the monarch's pow'r,
Thou must have sigh'd, unlucky youth, in vain,
Nor from my bounty hadst thou found a cure.

Though, to convince thee that the friend did feel
A kind concern for thy ill-fated care; ·

I would have sooth'd the flame I could not heal, Giv'n thee the world, though I withheld the fair.


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OREAT marvel hath it been, (and that not un


our island of Britain, in all rare sciences so greatly abounding, more especially in all kinds of poesy highly flourishing, no poet (though otherways of notable cunning in roundelays) hath hit on the right simple Eclogue, after the true ancient guise of Theocritus, before this mine attempt.

Other poet travailing in this plain highway of pastoral know I none. Yet, certes, such it behoveth a pastoral to be, as nature in the country affordeth; and the manners also meetly copied from the rustical folk therein. In this also my love to my native country Britain much pricketh me forward, to describe aright the manners of our own honest and laborious ploughmen, in no wise, sure, more unworthy a British poet's imitation, than those of Sicily or Arcady; albeit, not ignorant I am what a rout and rabblement of critical gallimawfry hath been made of late days by certain young men of insipid delicacy, concerning I wist not what Golden Age, and other outrageous conceits, to which they would confine pastoral; whereof, I avow, I account nought at all, knowing no age so justly to be instiled Golden, as this of our Sovereign lady Queen Anne.

This idle trumpery (only fit for schools and school-boys) unto that ancient Doric shepherd Theocritus, or his mates, was never known; he rightly throughout his fifth Idyl, maketh his louts give foul language, and behold their goats at rut in all simplicity.

Ωιπολος οκκ' εσοξη τας μηκάδας οια βαλειν
Τακείας οφθαλμώς, οκι & τραγος αυτος εγενο


Verily, as little pleasance receiveth a true home bred taste from all the fine finical newfangled

fooleries of this gay Gothic garniture, wherewith they so nicely bedeck their court clowns, or clown courtiers, (for which to call them rightly, I wot not) as would a prudent citizen journeying to his country farms, should he find them occupied by people of this motley make, instead of plain, down-right, hearty, cleanly folk, such as be now tenants to the burgesses of this realm.

Furthermore, it is my purpose, gentle Reader, to set before thee, as it were, a picture, or rather lively landscape of thy own country, just as thou mightest see it, didst thou take a walk into the fields at the proper season; even as Maister Milton hath elegantly set forth the same.

As one who long in populous city pent,

Where houses thick and sewers annoy the air,
Forth issuing on a summer's morn to breathe
Among the pleasant villages and farms

Adjoin'd, from each thing met conceives delight;
The smell of grain, or tedded grass or kine,
Or dairy, each rural sight, each rural sound.

Thou wilt not find my shepherdesses idly piping on oaten reeds; but milking the kine, tying up the sheaves, or if the hogs are astray, driving them to their styes. My shepherd gathereth none other nosegays but what are the growth of our own fields; he sleepeth not under myrtle shades, but under a hedge; nor doth he vigilantly defend his flocks from wolves, because there are none, as Maister Spenser well observeth,

Well is known that since the Saxon King
Never was wolf seen, many or some,
Nor in all Kent nor in Christendom.

For as much as I have mentioned Maister Spenser, soothly I must acknowledge him a bard of sweetest memorial. Yet hath his shepherd's boy at sometimes raised his rustic reed to rhymes more rumbling than rural. Diverse grave points also hath he handled of churchly matter, and doubts in religion daily arising, to great clerks only appertaining. What liketh me best are his names, indeed right simple and meet for the country, such as Lobbin, Cuddy, Hobbinol, Dig. gon, and others, some of which I have made bold to borrow. Moreover, as he called his Eclogues, The Shepherd's Calendar, and divided the same into the twelve months, I have chosen (peradventure not over rashly) to name mine by the days of the week, omitting Sunday or the Sabbath, ours being supposed to be Christian shepherds, and to be then at church-worship. Yet further of many of Maister Spenser's Eclogues it may be observed,

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