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Pastoral Elegy



What sorrowful sounds do I hear

Move slowly along in the gale?

How solemn they fall on my ear,

As softly they pass through the vale.

Sweet Corydon's notes are all o'er,

Now lonely he sleeps in the clay,

His cheeks bloom with roses no more,

Since death called his spirit away.


Sweet woodbines will rise round his feet,

And willows their sorrowing wave;

Young hyacinths freshen and bloom,

While hawthorns encircle his grave,

Each morn when the sun gilds the east,

(The green grass bespangled with dew,)

He'll cast his bright beams on the west,

To charm the sad Caroline's view.


O Corydon! hear the sad cries

Of Caroline, plaintive and slow;

O spirit! look down from the skies,

And pity the mourner below;

'Tis Caroline's voice in the grove,

Which Philomel hears on the plain;

Then striving the mourner to soothe,

With sympathy joins in her strain.


Ye shepherds so blithesome and young,

Retire from your sports on the green,

Since Corydon's deaf to my song,

The wolves tear the lambs on the plain;

Each swain round the forest will stray

And sorrowing hang down his head,

His pipe then in symphony play,

Some dirge to sweet Corydon's shade.


And when the still night has unfurled

Her robes o'er the hamlet around,

Gray twilight retires from the world,

And darkness encumbers the ground,

I'll leave my own gloomy abode,

To Corydon's urn will I fly,

There kneeling will bless the just God

Who dwells in bright mansions on high.

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