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Well couth he wail his woes, and lightly flake The flames, which love within his heart had bred, And tell us merry tales, to keep us wake, The while our sheep about us fafely fed.
Now dead he is, and lieth wrapt in lead, (O why should death on him fuch outrage show! And all his paffing skill with him is fled, The fame whereof doth daily greater grow..
But if on me fome little drops would flow Of that the spring was in his learned hed,
I foon would learn these woods to wail my woe, And teach the trees their trickling tears to shed.
Then should my plaints, caus'd of discourtesee, As meffengers of this my painful plight, Fly to my love, wherever that the be. And pierce her heart with point of worthy wight; As the deferves, that wrought fo deadly spight. And thou, Menalcas, that by treachery
Didit underfong my lafs to wax fo light, Should'ft well be known for fuch thy villiany.
But fince I am not, as I wish I were,. Ye gentle fhepherds, which your flocks do feed, Whether on hills or dales, or other where, Bear witnefs all of this fo wicked deed :
And tell the lafs, whose flower is woxe a weed, And faultlefs faith is turn'd to faithlefs feere,
That the the trueft fhepherd's heart made bleed, That lives on earth, and loved her most dear.
O! careful Colin, I lament thy cafe,
Thy tears would make the hardest flint to flow! Ah! faithlefs Rofalind, and void of grace, That are the root of all this rueful woe!
But now is time, I guess, homeward to go: Then rife, ye bleffed flocks, and home apace,
Left night with stealing fteps do you foreflo, And wet your tender lambs, that by you trace.
By the following eclogue the reader will perceive that Mr. Philips has, in imitation of Spencer, preferved in his Paftorals many antiquated words, which, tho' they are difcarded from polite converfation, may naturally be fuppofed till to have place among the fhepherds, and other rufticks in the country. We have made choice of his fecond eclogue, because it is brought home to his own bufinefs, and contains a complaint against those who had spoken ill of him and his writings.
Mr. PHILIP s's fecond Paftoral,
Is it not Colinet I lonesome fee
Though blithe their notes, not fo my wayward fate;
Small caufe, I ween, has lufty youth to plain;
And why should man, mithap what will, repine,
But tell me then; it may relieve thy woe,
Idly 'twill wafte thee, Thenot, the whole day, Should'st thou give ear to all my grief can fay. Thine ewes will wander; and the heedlefs lambs, In loud complaints, require their abfent dams.
See Lightfoot; he fhall tend them clofe: and I, Tween whiles, a-cross the plain will glance mine eye.
Where to begin I know not, where to end. Does there one fmiling hour my youth attend? Though few my days, as well my follies fhow, Yet are thofe days all clouded o'er with woe: No happy gleam of fun-fhine doth appear, My low'ring fky, and wint'ry months to cheer. My piteous plight in yonder naked tree, Which bears the thunder-fcar, too plain I fee: Quite deftitute it stands of fhelter kind, The mark of ftorms, and sport of every wind: The riven trunk feels not th' approach of spring; Nor birds among the leafless branches fing: No more, beneath thy fhade, fhall fhepherd's throng With jocund tale, or pipe, or pleafing fong. Ill-fated tree! and more ill-fated I! From thee, from me, alike the fhepherds fly.
Sure thou in hapless hour of time wast born,
And can there, Thenot, be a greater ill ?
Nor fox, nor wolf, nor rot among our fheep:
Ah me, the while! ah me, the luckless day!
And what enticement charm'd thee, far away, From thy lov'd home, and led thy heart aftray?
A lewd defire strange lands, and swains, to know: Ah me! that ever I fhould covet woe. With wand'ring feet unbleft, and fond of fame, I fought I know not what befides a name.
Or, footh to fay, did't thou not hither rome
Small need there was, in random fearch of gain, To drive my pining flock athwart the plain,
To diftant Cam. Fine gain at length, I trow,
Slander we shepherds count the vileft wrong: And what wounds forer than an evil tongue ?
Untoward lads, the wanton imps of fpite,
Menalcas, lord of these fair, fertile plains, Preferves the sheep, and o'er the fhepherds reigns: For him our yearly wakes, and feasts we hold, And choose the fairest firstlings from the fold: He, good to all, who good deserve, shall give Thy flock to feed, and thee at ease to live, Shall curb the malice of unbridled tongues, And bounteously reward thy rural fongs.