Edmund Spenser, the Critical Heritage

By R. M.Cummings | Go to book overview

107.

A Pastoral

1683

From A Pastoral, Written at Dublin, in May 1683 in Poems by Several Hands…. Collected by N. Tate (1685), pp. 45-7:

Thyrsis
O Coridon! Who shall presume to sing?
Who to these Groves shall foreign Numbers bring?
Where once great Spencer did triumphant reign,
The best, the sweetest, of the inspir'd Train;
Scarce from the God of Wit such Verse did flow,
When he vouchsaf'd to follow Sheep below;
Here sigh'd the love-sick Swain, here fed his Sheep
Near Mullas Stream, whose Waves he taught to weep:
While hungry'st Herds forgot the flowry Meads,
And the unshorn Hills inclin'd their list'ning Shades;
Oft as I've heard the Muses hither came,
The Muses slighted the inspiring Stream,
Charm'd with the merit of their Colins fame:
While hoarser Goatherds in some wretched strain
Invok'd the absent Deities in vain.
Ah! liv'd he now, what Subjects might he chuse,
The deathless Theams of his immortal Muse,
Of God-like Ossory his Song would tell,
How much belov'd he liv'd, how much bewail'd he fell.
In War unconquer'd, but betray'd in Peace
By fraud of Death, and snares of a Disease….
Say happy Bard! immortal Spencer say!
What numbers would'st thou choose, what Praise display,
When of Armagh thy mighty Song should be,
Of Armagh's Justice and his Piety?

-213-

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