A Pastoral

by John Cunningham

John Cunningham

Where the fond zephyr through the woodbine plays,
And wakes sweet fragrance in the mantling bow'r,
Near to that grove my lovely bridegroom stays
Impatient,—for 'tis past—the promis'd hour!
Lend me thy light, O ever-sparkling star!
Bright Hesper! in thy glowing pomp array'd,
Look down, look down, from thy all-glorious car,
And beam protection on a wandering maid.
'Tis to escape the penetrating spy,
And pass, unnotic'd, from malignant sight,
This dreary waste, full resolute, I try,
And trust my footsteps to the shades of night.
The Moon has slipp'd behind an envious cloud,
Her smiles, so gracious, I no longer view;
Let her remain behind that envious shroud,
My hopes, bright Hesperus, depend on you.
No rancour ever reach'd my harmless breast;
I hart no birds, nor rob the bustling bee:
Hear, then, what Love and Innocence request,
And shed your kindest influence on me.
Thee—Venus loves—First twinkler of the sky,
Thou art her star—in golden radiance gay!
On my distresses cast a pitying eye,
Assist me—for, alas! I've lost my way.
I see the darling of my soul—my Love!
Expression can't the mighty rapture tell:
He leads me to the bosom of the grove:
Thanks, gentle star—kind Hesperus, farewell!

Last updated January 14, 2019