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Broadside ballad entitled 'The Shepherds Tears'


The Shepherds Tears:

A PASTORAL sacred to the Memory of that ex-
cellent Gentleman, and noble Patriot, WILLIAM
NISBET of DIRLETON Esq;, who died October
20th, 1724.   

Omnes eodem cogimur omnium

Versatur urna serius ocyus,

Sors exitura, & nos in eternum                  

Exitium impositura cymba.         HOR. Lib. III. Ode 3.


WHY weeps Melindor in this sullen Grove ?
Throws by his Crook, forsakes his fleecy Drove
Brush'd with bleak Winds, and perishing through Cold,   
Whilst only proling Wolfs possess the Fold ?            

Why such unusual Murmurs from the Floods,
And savage Boars triumphing in the Woods ?
The Herbage withers that were wont to Bloom,
And Nature Sickens, and puts on a Gloom.
Pale looks Melindor's Cheeks, no dimpling Smile,
Ah! boding Omens of a ruin'd Isle:
Rouse, rouse Melindor from the blasted Oak ;
But thrice Melindor sigh'd, and thus he spoke,
Whilst Owls and Batts around the Grove did throng,
Listning unto his melancholly Song.


No Wonder Earth her Head in Sables shroud,
And Phoebus blush, and snakes behind a Cloud ;
That flinty Rocks reverberate our Groans,
And blasted Beeches shake their naked Bones.
That ev'ry Shepherd's Face a Blackness wear;
That Heav'n contract her Brow, and drop a Funeral Tear ;
That Rivers backward in their Channels run;
For universal Nature's out of Tune.   
Confusion seizes on our earthly Ball,
To tell the doleful Tale of Strephon's Fall:
A wild Disorder reigns through all the Plains,
We've lost the best, the bravest of our Swains.


Could I like Sandy sing, in lofty Lays,
My oaten Reed should burst with Strephon's Praise,
He next to PAN had every Shepherd's Love,
'Twas Strephon's Name that consecrate the Grove;
Each Thing he did was with uncommon Grace,
Had Shepherds Plainness, and a Prince's Face:
No haughty Air e're dwelt upon his Brow,
Soft were his Words, and sweet as Morning Dew.
Still chearful as the Morning Lark was he,
And humble as the lowly Cyprus Tree :
Let ev'ry Swain pay Homage to his Grave,
From me he shall a gratefull Tribute have
Upon that sacred   Spot I'll Lawrels plant,   
Feed them with Tears, they shall not Moisture want,
There every Morning kneel devoutly pray;
And as I sigh my Plaints, I'll loudly say,
A wild Disorder reigns thro' all the Plains,
We've lost the best, and bravest of our Swains.


Rich was the Swain in   Acres, and in Flocks,
Lord of the lowly Plains, and these exalted   Rocks;
Yet pip'd the live-long Day, devoid of Care,
Free as our Thoughts, and uncontrol'd as Air.
He like indulgent Heav'n did Blessings rain,
To help the sickly, and the aged Swain.
Loyal to PAN; but ah! he crackt his Clay   
Upon his Princes Coronation Day,
A wild Disorder reigns thro' all the Plains,
We've lost the best, and bravest of our Swains.

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Date of publication: 1724   shelfmark: Ry.III.c.36(099)
Broadside ballad entitled 'The Shepherds Tears'
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