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Three roses of an eastern hue,
In revenge he dealt the blow Sweet-swelling with ambrosial dew.
On her favourite below; How each, with glowing pride, displays
In revenge of smiling eyes, The riches of its circling rays!
Sweetest emblems of the skies! How all, in sweet abundance, shed
“ O my finger!" Stella cry'd: Perfumes, that might revive the dead!
Would for Stella I had dy'd! “ Now tell me, fair ene, if you know,
“O my finger!" thrice she cry'd, Whence these balmy spirits flow?
Thrice for Stella I'd have dy'd! Whence springs thris modest blush of light
Stella! fairest of the fair, Which charms at once and pains the sight?”
Stella, Venus' dearest care! The fair one knew, but wou'd not say,
Venus, red'ning dropp'd a tear: So blush'd and smiling went her way.
-"Here, you sirrah, Cupid, here! Impatient, next the Muse I call;
Dare you torture like a foc, She comes, and thus would answer all.
Stella, my belov'd below? “ Fool," (and I sure deserv'd the name)
Curst revenge on smiling eyes, “ Mark well the beauties of the dame,
Sweetest emblems of the skies !" And can you wonder why so fair,
Cupid, smit with Stella's eye, And why so sweet the roses are?
Answer'd Venus with a sigh, Her cheek with living purple glows
“ Rather, mamma, pity me; Which blush'd its rays on every rose;
I am wounded more than she."
WRITING LAURA'S NAME IN THE SNOW. And why so sweet the roses are?"
THIRSIS AND DAMON. “ Hold, tuneful trifler," I reply'd, “ The beauteous cause I now descry'd,
THIRSIS. Hold, talk no more of summer skies,
Why, Damon, write you Laura's name Of genial suns and-splendid lies;
In spowy letters? pritbee, say: Of fragrant fields of asphodel,
Was it her coldness to express, And brightest rays and sweetest smell;
Or show thy love would melt away? Whatever poetry can paint,
Or, rather, was it this? Because Or Muse can utter--all is faint:
When she is nam'd you burn and glow, 'Two words had better all exprest; –
Therefore in hopes to cool your breast 'She took the roses from-her breast.""
You writ the charmer's name in snow?
In snow I chose her name to write ;
Since only snow like her is pure,
Is soft alone, alone is white. For having lost his bow and quiver:
Perhaps the air her name may freeze, For he had giv'n them both away
And every letter grow a gem;
Fit characters to blaze her charms, To Stella, queen of Isis river.
And owe their rays to Stella's name.
A monarch for the precious name “ Mamma! you wrong me while you strike,"
Might then with half his kingdom part, Cry'd weeping Cupid, “ for I vow,
Despise the jewels on his crown, Stella and you are so alike,
To wear my Laura near his heart,
The liquid syllables are lost:
Now, Damon, where is Laura's name?
Too true: yet tho' her name dissolves,
The shining drops shall not be lost:
I'll drink them as they weep away,
And still her name shall be my toast.
EPILOGUE TO CATO.
Spoken by a young Gentleman in the Character of Stella! fix'd his sting in thee:
Marcia, before a private Audience. Stella! fairest of the fair:
Critics affirm, a bookish, clownish race, Stella, Venus' dearest care!
(I wish they durst affirm it to my face)
That love in tragedies has nought to do:
Let sacred Venus with her heir,
There Truth shall reign, a sacred guest !
THE WEDDING MORN.
'Twas morn: but Theron still his pillow prest: But now, to make an end of female speeches, (His Annabella's charms improv'd his rest.) I'll quit my petticoats to wear the breeches. An angel form, the daughter of the skies,
[Runs out and comes in in his night gown. Descending blest, or seem'd to bless his eyes; We have chang'd the scene: for gravity becomes White from her breast a dazzling vestment roll'd, A tragedy, as hearses sable plumes.
With stars bespangled and celestial gold. His country's father you have seen, to-night, She mov'd, and odours, wide, the circuit fill'd; Unfortunately great, and sternly right.
She spake, and honey from her lips distillid. Fair Liberty, by impious power opprest,
“ Behold, illustrious comes, to bless thy arms, Found no asylum but her Cato's breast:
Thy Annabella, breathing love and charms! Thither, as to a temple, she retir'd,
O melting mildness, undissembled truth! And when he plung'd the dagger she expir'd. Fair flow'r of age, yet blushing bloom of youth ! If Liberty revive at Cato's name,
Fair without art, without design admir'd, And British bosoins catch the Roman Name: Prais'd by the good, and by the wise desir'd. If hoary villains rouse your honest ire,
By Art and Nature taught and form'd to please, And patriot-youths with love of freedom fire, With all the sweet simplicity of ease. If Lucia's grief your graceful pity move,
In public courteous-for no private end; And Marcia teach the virgins virtuous love, At home-a servant; and abroad--a friend. You'll own, ev’n in this methodizing age,
Her gentle manners, unaffected grace,
And animated sweetness of her face,
The christian Graces breathing in her breast, For tho' the actors fail'd--they strove to please.
Her-whole shall teach thee to be more than blest. Perhaps, in time, your favours of this night
“ 'Tis Virtue’s ray that points her sparkling eyes, May warm us like young Marcus self to fight, Her face is beauteous, for her soul is wise. Like Cato to defend, like Addison to write. As from the Sun refulgent glories roll,
Which feed the starry host and fire the pole,
And her cheeks mantle with the eastern sky,
When seventy on her temples sheds its snow,
Dim grow her eyes and cheeks forget to glow, A BOOK, a friend, a song, a glass,
Good-nature shall the purple loss supply, A chaste, yet laughter-loving lass,
Good-sense shine brighter than the sparkling eye: To mortals various joys impart,
lo beauteous order round and round shall move, Inforin the sense, and warm the heart,
Lore cool'd by reason, reason warm'd by love.
“Receive Heaven's kindest blessing! And regard Thrice happy they, who, careless, laid,
This blessing as thy virtue's best reward. Beneath a kind-embow'ring shade,
When Beauty wakes her fairest forms to charm, With rosy wreaths their temples crown,
When Music all her pow'rs of sound to warm, In rosy wine their sorrows drown.
Her golden floods when wanton Freedom rolls,
And Plenty pours herself into our bowls; Mean while the Muses wake the lyre,
When with tumultuous throbs our pulses beat, The Graces modest mirth inspire,
And dubious Reason totters on her seat, Good-natur'd humour, harmless wit;
The youth how steady, how resolv'd the guide Well-temper'd joys, nor grave, nor light,
Which stems the full luxuriant, pleasing tide!
For these, and virtues such as these is given Act 4, Scene 2.
Thy Annabella! O belov'd of Heav'n!
Hail Marriage! everlasting be thy reign! myself in this canto to take Spenser for my model, The chain of being is thy golden chain.
I chose the stanza; which I think adds both a From hence mankind, a growing race depend, sweetness and solemnity at the same time to subBegan with Nature, shall with Nature end. jects of this rural and flowery nature. The most The mists, which stain'd thy lustre, break away, descriptive of our old poets have always used it In glory lessen, and refine to day:
from Chaucer down to Fairfax, and even long No more the jest of wits, of fools the scorn,
after him. I followed Fletcher's measure in his Which God made sacred, and which priests adorn, Purple Island; a poem printed at Cambridge in
“ Ascend the bed, while genial Nature pours twelve cantos, in quarto, scarce heard of in this Her balmy blessings round and nectar-show'rs. age, yet the best in the allegorical way, (next to And lo! the future opens on my eyes,
the Fairy Queen) in the English language. The I see soft buds, and smiling flow'rs arise:
Alexandrine line, I think, is peculiarly graceful at The human blossoms every charm display,
the end, and is an improvement on Shakspeare's Unfold their sweets, and beautify the day.
Venus and Adonis. After all, Spenser's hymns The father's virtues in the sons combine;
will excuse me for using this measure; and ScaThe mother's graces in the daughters shine. liger in the third book of bis Poetics, tells us, So where an angel spreads his dove-like wing (from Dydimus) that the hymns of the Athenians Young laurels sprout, and tender myrtles spring; were sung to the lyre, the pipe, or some musical Sweet dews descending consecrate the ground, instrument: and this, of all other kinds of verse And open a new Paradise around!
is, certainly, lyrical. But enough of the stanza: I see !"-But here the scene which blaz'd behind for (as sir William Davenant observes in his adHer fancy dazzled, and dissolv'd his mind. mirable preface to Gondibert) numbers in verse, He woke: yet still he thinks he sees and hears; like distinct kinds of music, are composed to the Till real sounds salutes his ravish'd ears:
uncertain and different taste of several ears. I “ ~Arise! the bride invites thee to be blest?" hope I have no apology to make for describing He rose,- But silence only speaks the rest. the beauties, the pleasures, and the loves of the
seasou in too tender or too florid a manner. The nature of the subject required a luxuriousness of
versification, and a softness of sentiment; but AN HYMN TO MAY.
they are pure and chaste at the same time: otherwise this canto had neither been ever written,
or offered to the public. If the sentiments and - Nunc formosissimus annus. Virg. verse be florid and tender, I shall excuse myself
in the words of Virgil (though not in his sense). PREFACE.
-Nunc mollissima fandi
Tempora! As Spenser is the most descriptive and forid of all our English: writers, I attempted to imitate his manner in the following vernal poem. I have
ARGUMENT. been very sparing of the antiquated words, which Subject proposed. Invocation of May. Descripare too frequent in most of the imitations of this tion of her: her operations on nature. Bounty author; however, I have introduced a few here recommended; in particular at this season. and there, which are explain'd at the bottom of Vernal apostrophe. Love the ruling passion each page where they occur. Shakspeare is the in May. The celebration of Venus, her birthpoet of Nature, in adapting the affections and day in this month. Rural retirement in spring. passions his characters; and Spenser in
Conclusion. scribing her delightful scenes and rural beautjes, His lines are most musically sweet; and his de- ETHEREAL, daughter of the lusty Spring, scriptions most delicately abundant, even to a And sweet Favonius, ever-gentle May! wantonness of painting: but still it is the music Shall I, unblam’d, presume of thee to sing, and painting of Nature. We find no ambitious or- And with thy living colours giid my lay? naments, or epigrammatical turns, in his writings, Thy genial spirit mantles in my brain; but a beautiful simplicity; which pleases far above My numbers languish in a softer vein : the glitter of pointed wit. I endeavoured to avoid I pant, too emulous, to flow in Spenser's strain. the affectation of the one, without any hopes of attaining the graces of the other kind of writing. Say, mild Aurora of the blooming year,
With storms when winter blackens Nature's face; Te sequor, O nostræ gentis decus! inque tuis When whirling winds the howling forest tear,
And shake the solid mountains from their base: Fixa pedum pono pressis vestigia signis: Say, what refulgent chambers of the sky Non ità certandi cupidus, quam propter amorem Veil thy beloved glories from the eye, (aren die? Quòd te imitari avco: Quid enim contendat For which the nations pine, and Earth's fair chil
Lucretius. Where Leda's twins', forth from their diamond
tow'r, A modern writer has, I know, objected against Alternate, o'er the night their beams divide; running the verse into alternate and stanza: but in light embosom'd, happy, and secure Mr. Prior's authority is sufficient for me, who ob- From winter-sage, thou choosest to abide. serves that it allows a greater variety, and still preserves the dignity of the verse, As I professed
Castor and Pollux.
Blest residence! For, there, as poets tell, Love-sick with odours !--Now to order rolled,
gold. Certes So'er Rhedicyna's laurel'd mead, (For ever spread, ye laurels, green and new!) Young-circling roses, blushing, round them throw The brother-stars their gracious nurture shed,
The sweet abundance of their parple rays, And secret blessings of poetic-dew.
And lilies, dip'd in fragrance, freshly blow, They bathe their horses in the learned food, With blended beauties, in ber angel-face With flame recruited for th' etherial road; The humid radiance beaming from her eyes And deem fair Isis' swans 4 fair as their father-god. The air and seas illumes, the earth and skies;
And open, where she smiles, the sweets of ParaNo sooner April, trim'd with girlands 5 gay,
dise. Rains fragrance o'er the world, and kindly show'rs; But, in the eastern-pride of beauty, May, On Zephyr's wing the laughing goddess view, To gladden Earth, forsakes her heav'nly bow'rs, Distilling balm. She cleaves the buxom Air, Restoring Nature from her palsy'd state,
Attended by the silver-footed Dew,
The ravages of Winter to repair.
Her naked bosom down the ether sails;
Exhales. All-recent from the bosom of delight, With nectar nurtur'd; and involv'd in flow'rs: All as the phenix, in Arabian skies, By Spring's sweet blush,by Nature's teemingwomb; New-burnish'd from his spicy funeral pyres, By Hebe's dimply smile, by Flora's bloom; At large, in roseal? undulation, flies; By Venus'-self (for Venus'-self demands thee) His plumage dazzles and the gazer tires; come!
Arvund their king the plumy nations wait,
Attend his triumph, and augment his state: By the warm sighs, in dewy even-tide,
He tow'ring, claps his wings, and wins th' etheOf melting maidens, in the wood-bind-groves,
real height. To pity loosen'd, softer'd down from pride; By billing turtles, and by cooing doves;
So round this phenix of t'ie gawdy year By the youth's plainings stealing on the air, A thousand, nay ten thou and Sports and Smiles (For youths will plain, thoʻyielding be the fair) Fluttering in gold, along the heinisphere, Hither, to bless the maidens and the youths, re- Her praises chant; her praises glad the isles. pair.
Conscious of her approach (to deck hér bow'rs)
Earth from her fruitful fap and bosom pours With dew bespangled, by the hawthorn-buds, A waste of springing sweets, and voluntary flow'rs. With freshness breathing, by the daisy'd plains, By the mix'd music of the warbling woods, Narcissus? fair, in snowy velvet gown'd; Audjovial roundelays 7 of nymphs and swains; Ah foolish! still to love the fountain-brim: In thy full energy, and rich array,
Sweet Hyacinth 3, by Phæbus erst* bemoan'd; Delight of Earth and Heav'n! O blessed May! And tulip, faring in her powder'd trim. From Heav'n descend to Earth: ou Earth vouch- Whate'er, Armida”, in thy gardens blew; safe to stay.
Whate'er the Sun inhales, or sips the dew;
Whate'er compose the chaplet on Ianthe's brow. She comes ! -A silken camus, emrald-green, Gracefully loose, adown her shoulders flows, 1 Pliny tells us, lib. 11, that the phenix is (Fit to enfold the liinbs of Paphos' qucen) about the bigness of an eagle: the feathers round And with the labours of the needle glows,
the neck shining like gold, the body of a purple Purfled by Nature's hand! The amorous Air colour, the tail blue with feathers resembling And musky-western Breezes fast repair,
See Claudian's fine poem on that subject, Her mantle proud to swell, and wanton with her and Marcellus Donatus, who has a short disserhair.
tation on the phenix in bis Observations on Ta.
citus. Annal. Lib. 6. Westley on Job, and sir Her hair (but rather threads of light it seems) Tho. Brown's Vulgar Errours. With the gay honours of the Spring entwind, 2 A beautiful youth who, beholding his face in Copious, unbound, in nectar'd ringlets streams, a fountain, fell love with himself, and piping Floats glittring on the Sun, and scents the wind, away was changed into a flower, which bears bis
name. See Ovid. Metaniorph. Lib. 3. 2 The Gemini are supposed to preside over 3 Beloved and turned into a flower by Apollo. Jeamed men.
See Pontanus in his beautiful See the story in Ovid. Met. Lib. 10. There is poem called Urania. Lib. 2. De Geminis. likewise a curious dialogue in Lucian betwixt
Surely, certainly. Ibid. -Rhedicyna, Mercury and Apollo on this subject. Servius in &c. Oxford.
bis Notes on Virgil's second Bucolic takes the * Jupiter deceived Leda in the shape of a swan hyacinth to be the vaccinium of the Latiny, as she was bathing herself in the river Eurotas. bearing some similitude with the name. 5 Garlands.
4 Formerly: long ago. A light gown.
9 Flourished with a needle. 5 See Tasso's Il Goffredo. Canto 16, TOL. XV.
He who undaz'd6 can wander o'er her face, From the wide altar of the foodful Earth [roll; May gain upon the solar-blaze at noon!
The flow'rs, the herbs, the plants, their incense What more than female sweetness, and a grace The orchards swell the ruby-tinctur'd birth; Peculiar! save, lanthe, thine alone,
The vermil-gardens breath the spicy soul. Ineffable effusion of the day!
Grateful to May, the nectar-spirit flies, So very much the same, that lovers say,
The wafted clouds of lavish'd odours rise, May is lanthe; or the dear lanthe, May. The Zephyr's balmy burthen, worthy of the skies. So far as doth the harbinger of day
The bee, the golden daughter of the Spring, The lesser lamps of night in sheen 7 excel; From mead to mead, in wanton labour, roves, So far in sweetness and in beauty May
And loals its little thigh, or gilds its wing Above all other months doth bear the bell. With all the essence of the flushing groves: So far as May doth other months exceed,
Extracts the aromatic soul of flow'rs, So far in virtue and in goodlihead,
And, humming in delight, its waxen bow'rs Above all other nymphs lanthe bears the meedo. Fills with the luscious spoils, and lives ambrosial
hours. Welcome! as to a youthful poet, wine, To fire his fancy, and enlarge his soul:
Touch'd by thee, May, the flocks and lusty droves He weaves the laurel-chaplet with the vine, That low in pastures, or on mountains bleat, And grows immortal as he drains the bowl. Revive their frolics and renew their loves. Welcome! as beauty to the lovesick swain, Stung to the marrow with a generous heat, For which he long had sigh’d, but sigh'd in vain; The stately courser, bounding o'er the plain, He darts into her arms; quick-vanishes his pain. Shakes to the winds the honours of his mane,
(High-arch'd his neck) and, snuffing, hopes the The drowsy elements, arous'd by thee,
dappled train. Roll to harmonious measures, active all! Earth, water, air, and fire, with feeling glee, The aëreal songsters sooth the list'ning groves: Exult to celebrate thy festival.
The mellow thrush, the ouzle: sweetly shrill, Fire glows intenser; softer, blows the air ; And little linnet celebrate their loves More smooth the waters flow; earth smiles more In hawthorn valley, or on tufted hill; fair:
The soaring lark, the lowly nightingale, Earth, water, air and fire, thy glad’ning impulse A thorn her pillow, trills her doleful tale, share.
And melancholy music dies along the dale.. What boundless tides of splendour o'er the skies, This gay exuberance of gorgeous Spring, O’erflowing brightness! stream their golden rays! The gilded mountain, and the herbag‘d vale, Heaven's azure kindles with the varying dies, The woods that blossom, and the birds that sing, Reflects the glory, and returns the blaze.
The murmuring fountain and the breathing dale: Air whitens; wide the tracts of ether been The dale, the fountains, birds and woods delight, With colours damask'd rich, and goodly sheen, The vales, the mountains and the Spring invite, And all above, is blue; and all below is green. Yet unadorn'd by May, no longer charm the sight. At thy approach, the wild waves' loud uproar, When Nature laughs around, shall man alone, And foamy surges of the mad'ping main,
Thy image, hang (ah me!) the sickly head? Forget to heave their mountains to the shore; When Nature sings, shall Nature's glory groan, Diffus'd into the level of the plain.
Aud languish for the pittance poor of bread! For thee, the halcyon builds her summer's-nest; O may the man that shall his image scorn, For thee, the Ocean smooths her troubled breast, Alive, be ground with hunger, most forlorn, Gay from thy placid smiles, in thy own purple Die unanell’d", and dead, by dogs and kites be torn. drest.
Curs'd may he be (as if he were not so.) Have ye not seen, in gentle even-tide,
Nay doubly curs'd be such a breast of steci, When Jupiter the Earth hath richly showerd, Which never melted at another's woe, Striding the clouds, a bow dispredden' wide Nor tenderness of bowels knew to feel. As if with light inwove, and gaily flower'd
His heart is black as Hell, in flowing store With bright variety of blending dies?
Who hears the needy crying at his door, White, purple, yellow melt along the skies,
Who hears them cry, ne recks“; but suffers Alternate colours sink, alternate colours rise.
them be poor.
The Earth's embroidery then have ye ey'd,
6 Undazzled. 1 Brightness. Shining.
9 Prize. Spread.
But blest, O more than doubly blest be he!