The arrival of Spring reminds us that there is a long and distinguished Western literary tradition that we have, to date, inexplicably neglected. Though it has various incarnations (e.g., bucolics, idylls, eclogues and the like), the tradition as a whole most usually is called pastoral literature.
A 2006 BBC Radio 4 presentation defined the tradition as
offer[ing] a conventionalised picture of rural life, the naturalness and innocence of which is seen to contrast favourably with the corruption and artificialities of city and court life. Pastoral literature deals with tensions between nature and art, the real and the ideal, the actual and the mythical, and although pastoral works have been written from the point of view of shepherds or rustics, they have often been penned by highly sophisticated, urban poets and playwrights.
The tradition encompasses a wide range of poetry, prose and drama, and while it may no longer be as vibrant as in centuries past, the sheer variety of what has been written over the past two millenia insures that many book collectors still avidly seek exemplars for their shelves:
...And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;
A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;
A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.
Perhaps the best-known English-language work of pastoral literature is Edmund Spenser's The Shepheardes' Calendar, although the tradition may be traced as well in the works of English literary giants like Shakespeare and Milton, modern poets such as W. H.Auden, even novelists and short story writers like William Goyen:
Generally speaking, if the literary work currently commanding your attention prefers life-in-harmony-with-nature to other literary tropes, you likely have at hand a representative of pastoral literature. A handy reference or two may be needed to make a final determination: