Letter – Daniel Watson to James Mulcaster – 24 Mar 1745

Document Type: Letter
Date: 24 Mar 1745
Correspondent: Daniel Watson
Recipient: James Mulcaster
Archive Source: Univ Birmingham MS 692
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For Mr James Mulcaster at Acton –


	I take this Opportunity to Send you what I promised (viz) Collin’s Complaint in Burlesque.  And am  Sir Your’s very Sincerely

	D. Watson.

March 24 1745

Collin’s Complaint

Desparing besides a clear Stream

  A Shepherd forsaken was laid

And whilst a false Nymph was his Theme

  A Willow Supported his Head.

The wind yt blew over the Plain

  To his Sighs with a Sigh did reply

And the Brook in return to his Pain

  Ran mournfully murmuring by.

Alas!  Silly Swain that I was 

  (Thus Sadly complaining he cry’d)

When first I beheld that fair Face

  ‘Twere better by far I had dy’d

She talk’d and I blest the dear tongue

  When She Smiled twas a Pleasure too great

I listen’d and cry’d when She Sung

  Was Nightingal ever So Sweet.

How foolish was I to believe

  She could doat on So lowly a Clown

Or that her fond Heart wou’d not grieve

  To forsake the folk of the Town

To think that a Beauty So gay 

  So kind and So constant would Prove

Or go clad like our Maidens in grey,

  Or live in Cottage for Love.

What tho‘ I have Skill to complain

  Tho’ the Muses my Temples have crown’d

What tho’ wn they hear my Soft Strain

  The Virgins Sit weeping around!

Ah Colin!  thy Hopes are in vain,

  Thy Pipe & thy Laurel resign; 

Thy false One inclines to a Swain

  Whose Music is Sweeter yn thine

And you my Companions So dear

  Who Sorrow to See me betray’d

Whatever I Suffer forbear

  Forbear to accuse the false Maid

Tho’ thro the wide world I should range

  ‘Tis in vain from my Fortune to fly

Twas her’s to be false & to change

  ‘Tis mine to be constant and die.

If while my hard Fate I Sustain

  In her Breast any Pity is found

Let her come wth the Nymphs of the Slain 

  And See me laid low in ye Ground

The last humble boon that I crave

  Is to Shade me wth Cypress and Yew 

And when She looks down in my Grave

  Let her own that her Shepherd was true

Then to her new Love let her go 

  And deck her in golden Array

Be finest at ev’ry fine Show

  And frolick it all the long Day

While Colin forgotten and gone

  No more Shall be heard of or Seen

Unless wn beneath the pale Moon

  His Ghost shall glide over ye Green.

The Imitation

By the Side of a glimmering fire.

  Melinda Sat pensively down

Impatient of rural Esquire

  And vex’d to be absent from Town

The Cricket from under the Grate

   With a chirp to her Sighs did reply

And the Kitten as grave as a Cat

  Sat mournfully purring hard by.

Alas!  Silly Maid that I was

  (Thus Sadly complaining She cry’d)

When first I forsook the dear Place

  ‘Twere better by far I had dy’d

How gaily I pass’d the long Day

  In a Round on continual Delights

Park, Visits, Assemblee’s, and Play

  And Quadrill t’enliven the Night

How foolish was I to believe

  Delusive Poetical Dreams

The flattering Landskips they give 

  Of Groves, Meads, and murmuring Streams

Bleak Mountains & wild Staring Rocks

  Are ye wretched result of my Pains

The Swains greater Brutes yn ye Flocks

  And the Nymphs as polite as ye Swains

What tho’ I have Skill to ensnare

  Where Smarts in bright circles abound

What tho’ at St. James’s at Pray’r

  Beaux ogle devoutly around.

Fond Virgin! thy Power is lost

  On a Race of rude Hottentot Brutes

What Glory in being the Toast

  Of noisy dull Spires in Boots?

And thou my Companions So dear 

  My all that is left of Relief

Whatever I Suffer forbear

  Forbear to disswade me from Grief

‘Tis in vain then you’ll Say to repine.

  At Ills wch can’t be redres’d

But in Sorrows as pungent as mine

  To be patient, alas! is a Jest.

If further to Sooth my Distress

  Thy tender compassion is led

Call Jenny to help to undress

  And decently put me to Bed

The last humble Solace I wait

   Would Heav’n indulge me ye Boon

Some Dream less unkind yn my Fate 

   In a Vision transport me to town

Clarissa mean while weds her Beau

  Who decks her in golden Array

The finest at ev’ry fine Show

   And flaunt it at Park & at Play

Whilst here we are left in ye Lurch

  Forgot & Secluded from View

Unless when Some Bumpkin at Church

  Stares wishfully over the Pew
The two poems are given side by side in the original, ‘Collin’s Complaint’ to the left and ‘The Imitation’ to the right

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The Dukesfield Smelters and Carriers Project aimed to celebrate and discover the heritage of the Dukesfield Arches & lead carriers' routes between Blaydon and the lead mines of Allendale and Weardale. A two year community project, it was led by the Friends of the North Pennines in partnership with Hexhamshire and Slaley Parish Councils and the active support of Allendale Estates. It was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the generous support of other sponsors. Friends of the North Pennines: Charity No:1137467