John Cunningham


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O'er moorlands and mountains, rude, barren, and bare,
As wilder'd and weary'd I roam,
A gentle young shepherdess sees my despair,
And leads me--o'er lawns--to her home,
Yellow sheaves from rich Ceres her cottage had crown'd,
Green rushes were strew'd on her floor,
Her casement sweet woodbines crept wantonly round,
And deck'd the sod seats at her door.

We sat ourselves down to a cooling repast:
Fresh fruits! and she cull'd me the best:
While, thrown from my guard by some glances she cast,
Love slily stole into my breast!
I told my soft wishes; she sweetly reply'd,
(Ye virgins, her voice was divine!)
I've rich ones rejected, and great ones deny'd,
But take me, fond shepherd--I'm thine.

Her air was so modest, her aspect so meek!
So simple, yet sweet, were her charms!
I kiss'd the ripe roses that glow'd on her cheek,
And lock'd the lov'd maid in my arms!
Now jocund together we tend a few sheep,
And if, by yon prattler, the stream,
Reclin'd on her bosom, I sink into sleep,
Her image still softens my dream.

Together we range o'er the slow-rising hills,
Delighted with pastoral views,
Or rest on the rock whence the streamlet distils,
And point out new themes for my muse.
To pomp or proud titles she ne'er did aspire,
The damsel's of humble descent;
The cottager, Peace, is well known for her fire,
And shepherds have nam'd her Content.

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