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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.


William Shenstone (1714–1763)

I TOLD my nymph, I told her true,

My fields were small, my flocks were few;

While faltering accents spoke my fear,

That Flavia might not prove sincere.

Of crops destroy’d by vernal cold,

And vagrant sheep that left my fold:

Of these she heard, yet bore to hear;

And is not Flavia then sincere?

How, chang’d by Fortune’s fickle wind,

The friends I loved became unkind;

She heard and shed a generous tear;

And is not Flavia then sincere?

How, if she deign my love to bless,

My Flavia must not hope for dress:

This, too, she heard, and smiled to hear;

And Flavia, sure, must be sincere.

Go, shear your flocks, ye jovial swains!

Go reap the plenty of your plains;

Despoil’d of all which you revere,

I know my Flavia’s love sincere.