Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. III. Addison to Blake
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. III. The Eighteenth Century: Addison to Blake
 
The Dying Kid
By William Shenstone (1714–1763)
 
A TEAR bedews my Delia’s eye,
To think yon playful kid must die;
From crystal spring and flowery mead
Must, in his prime of life, recede.
 
Erewhile in sportive circles round        5
She saw him wheel, and frisk, and bound;
From rock to rock pursue his way,
And on the fearful margin play.
 
Pleased on his various freaks to dwell
She saw him climb my rustic cell;        10
Then eye my lawns with verdure bright,
And seem all ravished at the sight.
 
She tells with what delight he stood
To trace his features in the flood;
Then skipped aloof with quaint amaze        15
And then drew near again to gaze.
 
She tells me how with eager speed
He flew to hear my vocal reed;
And how with critic face profound,
And steadfast ear devoured the sound.        20
 
His every frolic light as air
Deserves the gentle Delia’s care;
And tears bedew her tender eye,
To think the playful kid must die.—
 
But knows my Delia, timely wise,        25
How soon this blameless era flies?
While violence and craft succeed
Unfair design and ruthless deed!
 
Soon would the vine his wounds deplore,
And yield her purple gifts no more;        30
Oh soon, erased from every grove
Were Delia’s name, and Strephon’s love.
 
No more those bowers might Strephon see,
Where first he fondly gazed on thee;
No more those beds of flowerets find        35
Which for thy charming brows he twined.
 
Each wayward passion soon would tear
His bosom, now so void of care.
And when they left his ebbing vein
What but insipid age remain?        40
 
Then mourn not the decrees of Fate
That gave his life so short a date;
And I will join thy tenderest sighs
To think that youth so swiftly flies.
 
 
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