Reference > Anthologies > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library > Verse

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
By William Shenstone (1714–1763)
From ‘A Pastoral’

YE 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:        5
  She was fair—and my passion begun;
She smiled—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        10
That a nymph so complete would be sought
  By a swain more engaging than me.
Ah! love every hope can inspire:
  It banishes wisdom the while,
And the lip of the nymph we admire        15
  Seems forever adorned with a smile.
She is faithless, and I am undone:
  Ye that witness the woes I endure,
Let reason instruct you to shun
  What it cannot instruct you to cure.        20
Beware how you loiter in vain
  Amid nymphs of a higher degree:
It is not for me to explain
  How fair and how fickle they be.
Alas! from the day that we met,        25
  What hope of an end to my woes,
When I cannot endure to forget
  The glance that undid my repose?
Yet time may diminish the pain;
  The flower, and the shrub, and the tree,        30
Which I reared for her pleasure in vain,
  In time may have comfort for me.
The sweets of a dew-sprinkled rose,
  The sound of a murmuring stream,
The peace which from solitude flows,        35
  Henceforth shall be Corydon’s theme.
High transports are shown to the sight,
  But we’re not to find them our own:
Fate never bestowed such delight
  As I with my Phyllis had known.        40
O ye woods, spread your branches apace!
  To your deepest recesses I fly;
I would hide with the beasts of the chase,
  I would vanish from every eye.
Yet my reed shall resound through the grove        45
  With the same sad complaint it begun:
How she smiled, and I could not but love!
  Was faithless, and I am undone!

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