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The Shepherd and the Calm.

1 SOothing his Passions with a warb'ling Sound,
2 A Shepherd-Swain lay stretch'd upon the Ground;
3 Whilst all were mov'd, who their Attention lent,
4 Or with the Harmony in Chorus went,
5 To something less than Joy, yet more than dull Content.
6 (Between which two Extreams true Pleasure lies,
7 O'er-run by Fools, unreach'd-at by the Wise)
8 But yet, a fatal Prospect to the Sea
9 Wou'd often draw his greedy Sight away.
10 He saw the Barques unlading on the Shore,
11 And guess'd their Wealth, then scorn'd his little Store,
12 Then wou'd that Little lose, or else wou'd make it more
13 To Merchandize converted is the Fold,
14 The Bag, the Bottle, and the Hurdles sold;
15 The Dog was chang'd away, the pretty Skell
16 Whom he had fed, and taught, and lov'd so well.
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17 In vain the Phillis wept, which heretofore
18 Receiv'd his Presents, and his Garlands wore.
19 False and upbraided, he forsakes the Downs,
20 Nor courts her Smiles, nor fears the Ocean's Frown
21 For smooth it lay, as if one single Wave
22 Made all the Sea, nor Winds that Sea cou'd heave;
23 Which blew no more than might his Sails supply
24 Clear was the Air below, and Phoebus laugh'd on high.
25 With this Advent'rer ev'ry thing combines,
26 And Gold to Gold his happy Voyage joins;
27 But not so prosp'rous was the next Essay,
28 For rugged Blasts encounter'd on the way,
29 Scarce cou'd the Men escape, the Deep had all their Prey.
30 Our broken Merchant in the Wreck was throw
31 Upon those Lands, which once had been his own
32 Where other Flocks now pastur'd on the Grass,
33 And other Corydons had woo'd his Lass.
34 A Servant, for small Profits, there he turns,
35 Yet thrives again, and less and less he mourns;
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36 Re-purchases in time th'abandon'd Sheep,
37 Which sad Experience taught him now to keep.
38 When from that very Bank, one Halcyon Day,
39 On which he lean'd, when tempted to the Sea,
40 He notes a Calm; the Winds and Waves were still,
41 And promis'd what the Winds nor Waves fulfill,
42 A settl'd Quiet, and Conveyance sure,
43 To him that Wealth, by Traffick, wou'd procure.
44 But the rough part the Shepherd now performs,
45 Reviles the Cheat, and at the Flatt'ry storms.
46 Ev'n thus (quoth he) you seem'd all Rest and Ease,
47 You sleeping Tempests, you untroubl'd Seas,
48 That ne'er to be forgot, that luckless Hour,
49 In which I put my Fortunes in your Pow'r;
50 Quitting my slender, but secure Estate,
51 My undisturb'd Repose, my sweet Retreat,
52 For Treasures which you ravish'd in a Day,
53 But swept my Folly, with my Goods, away.
54 Then smile no more, nor these false Shews employ,
55 Thou momentary Calm, thou fleeting Joy;
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56 No more on me shall these fair Signs prevail,
57 Some other Novice may be won to Sail,
58 Give me a certain Fate in the obscurest Vale.

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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): The Shepherd and the Calm.
Themes: retirement; happiness
Genres: heroic couplet

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Source edition

Miscellany poems, on several occasions: Written by the Right Honble Anne, Countess of Winchilsea. London: printed for J. B. and sold by Benj. Tooke, William Taylor, and James Round, 1713, pp. 113-116. [8],390p. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T94539; Foxon pp. 274-5; OTA K076314.000)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.

Other works by Anne Finch (née Kingsmill), countess of Winchilsea