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John Cunningham (Джон Каннингем)


PALEMON, seated by his favourite maid,
The silvan scenes, with ecstasy, survey'd;
Nothing could make the fond Alexis gay,
For Daphne had been absent half the day:
Dar'd by Palemon for a pastoral prize,
Reluctant, in his turn, Alexis tries.


This breeze by the river how charming and soft!
How smooth the grass carpet! how green!
Sweet, sweet sings the lark! as he carols aloft,
His music enlivens the scene!
A thousand fresh flow'rets, unusually gay,
The fields and the forests adorn;
I pluck'd me some roses, the children of May,
And could not find one with a thorn.


The skies are quite clouded, too bold is the breeze,
Dull vapours descend on the plain;
The verdure's all blasted that cover'd yon trees,
The birds cannot compass a strain:
In search for a chaplet my temples to bind,
All day as I silently rove,
I can't find a flow'ret (not one to my mind)
In meadow, in garden, or grove.


I ne'er saw the hedge in such excellent bloom,
The lambkins so wantonly gay;
My cows seem to breathe a more pleasing perfume,
And brighter than common the day:
If any dull shepherd should foolishly ask,
So rich why the landscapes appear?
To give a right answer, how easy my task!
Because my sweet Phillida's here.


The stream that so muddy moves slowly along,
Once roll'd in a beautiful tide;
It seem'd o'er the pebbles to murmur a song,
But Daphne sat then by my side.
See, see the lov'd maid, o'er the meadows she hies,
Quite alter'd already the scene!
How limpid the stream is! how gay the blue skies,
The hills and the hedges how green!

John Cunningham's other poems:
  1. A Landscape
  2. Anacreon: Ode 58
  3. Fanny of the Dell
  4. The Respite
  5. On the Late Absence of May

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