« PreviousContinue »
Through moffy grotto's amaranthine bow'rs,
And form a laughing flood in vale below:
Where oft their limbs the loves and graces bay
(When fummer fheds infufferable day)
[play. And fport, and dive, and flounce in wantonnefs of No noife o'ercomes the filence of the fhades,
Save fhort-breath'd vows, the dear excess of joy;
Or harmless giggle of the youths and maids,
Who yield obeifance to the Cyprian boy :
Or lute, foft-fighing in the paffing gale;
Or fountain, gurgling down the facred vale,
Or hymn to beauty's queen, or lover's tender tale.
Here Venus revels, here maintains her court,
In light feftivity and gladfome game:
The young and gay, in frolic troops refort,
Withouten cenfure and withouten blame.
In pleasure steep'd, and dancing in delight,
Night fteals upon the day, and day on night:
Each knight, his lady loves; each lady, loves her
Where lives the man (if fuch a man there be)
In idle wilderness or defert drear,
To beauty's facred pow'r an enemy?
Let foul fiends harrow him; I'll drop no tear. I deem that carl, by beauty's pow'r unmov'd, Hated of heav'n, of none but hell approv'd. O may he never love, O never be belov'd! Hard is his heart, unmelted by thee, MAY! Unconscious of love's nectar-tickling ftring, And, unrelenting, cold to beauty's ray; Beauty the mother and the child of fpring! Beauty and wit declare the fexes even; Beauty to woman, wit to man is giv'n; Neither the flime of earth, but each the fire of heav'n. Alliance fweet! let beauty, wit approve,
As flow'rs to funfhine ope the ready breaft: Wit beauty loves, and nothing elfe can love: The beft alone is grateful to the best.
Perfection has no other parallel!
Can light with darknefs, doves with ravens dwell? As foonperdie, fhall heav'n communion hold with hell. I fing to you, who love alone for love:
For gold the beauteous fools (O fools befure!) Can win; though brighter wit shall never move : But folly is to wit the certain cure.
Curs'd be the men (or be they young or old),
Curs'd be the women, who themfelves have fold
To the detefted bed for lucre base of gold.
Not Julia fuch: fhe higher honour deem'd
To languish in the Sulmo poet's arms,
Than, by the potentates of earth esteem'd,
To give to fceptres and to crowns her charms.
Not Laura fuch in fweet Vauclufa's vale
She liften'd'to her Petrarch's amorous tale.
But did poor Colin Clout o'er Rofalind prevail?
Howe'er that be; in Acidalian shade,
Embracing Julia, Ovid melts the day:
Nor dreams of banishment his loves invade;
Encircled in eternity of MAY.
Here Petrarch with his Laura, foft reclin'd
On violets, gives forrow to the wind:
And Colin Clout pipes to the yielding Rofalind.
Pipe on, thou fweetest of th' Arcadian train,
That e'er with tuneful breath inform'd the quill : Pipe on, of lovers the moft loving fwain!
Of blifs and melody, O take thy fill!
Ne envy I, if dear IANTHE fmile,
Though low my numbers, and though rude my ftyle;
Ne quit for Acidale, fair Albion's happy ifle.
Come then, IANTHE! milder than the fpring,
And grateful as the rofy month of MAY,
O come; the birds the hymn of nature fing,
Inchanting wild, from every bufh and spray :
Swell the green gems and teem along the vine,
A fragrant promife of the future wine,
The fpirits to exalt, the genius to refine '
Let us our fteps direct where father Thames,
In filver windings draws his humid train,
And pours, where'er he rolls his naval fiream,
Pomp on the city, plenty o'er the plain.
Or by the banks of Ifis fhall we ftray,
(Ah! why fo long from Ifis' banks away!)
Where thousand damfels dance, and thoufand
Or choose you rather Theron's calm retreat,
Embofom'd, Surrey, in thy verdant vale,
At once the mufes and the graces feat!
There gently listen to my faithful tale.
Along the dew-bright parterres let us rove,
Or tafte the odours of the mazy-grove:
Hark how the turtles coo: I languifh too with love.
Amid the pleafaunce of Arcadian scenes,
Love fteals his filent arrows on my breaft;
Nor falls of water, nor enamell'd greens,
Can footh my anguish, or invite to reft.
You, dear IANTHE, you alone impart
Balm to my wounds, and cordial to
The apple of my eye, the life-blood of:
With line of filk, with hook of barbed steel,
Beneath this oaken umbrage let us lay,
And from the water's cryftal bofom steal
Upon the graffy bank the finny prey:
The perch, with purple-fpeckled manifold;
The eel, in filver labyrinth felt roll'd,
And carp, all-burnish'd o'er with drops of fcaly gold.
Or fhall the meads invite, with Iris' hues
And nature's pencil gay diverfify'd,
(For now the fun has lick'd away the dews)
Fair flushing and bedeck'd like virgin bride
Thither (for they invite us), we'll repair,
Collect and weave (whate'er is fweet and fair)
A pofy for thy breaft, a garland for thy hair.
Fair is the lily, clad in balmy fnow;
Sweet is the rofe, of fpring the fmiling eye; Nipt by the winds, their heads the lilies bow; Cropt by the hand, the rofes fade and die. Though now in pride of youth and beauty dreft, O think, IANTHE, cruel time lays wafte
The roses of the cheek, the lilies of the breaft.
Weep not; but, rather taught by this, improve
The prefent freshness of thy fpringing prime :
Beftow thy graces on the god of love,
Too precious for the wither'd arms of time.
In chaffe endearments, innocently gay,
IANTHE! now,-now love thy fpring away;
Ere cold October blafts defpoil the bloom of MAY.
Now up the chalky mazes of yon hill,
With grateful diligence, we wind our way, What op'ning fcenes our ravifh'd fenfes fill, And, wide, their rural luxury display!
Woods, dales, and flocks, and herds, and cots, and fpires,
Villa's of learned clerks, and gentle fquires;
The villa of a friend the eye-fight never tires.
If e'er to thee and Venus, MAY, I ftrung
The gladfome lyre, when livelood fwell'd my veins
And Eden's nymphs and Ifis' damsels fung
In tender elegy, and paftoral ftrains;
Collect and fhed thyfelf on Theron's bow'rs,
O green his gardens, O perfume his flow'rs,
Oblefs his morning walks and footh his ev'ning hours.
Long, Theron, with thy Annabell enjoy
The walks of nature, ftill to virtue kind,
For facred folitude can never cloy
The wifdom of an uncorrupted mind! O very long may Hymen's golden chain To earth confine you and the rural reign;
Then foar, at length, to Heaven! nor pray, O mufe, in vain.
Where'er the mufes haunt, or poets mufe,
In folitary filence fweetly tir'd,
Unloofe thy bofom, MAY! thy flores effufe,
Thy vernal ftores, by poets moft defir'd,
Of living fountain, of the woodbind shade,
Of Philomela, warbling from the glade.
Thy bounty, in his verse, shall certes be repaid.
On Twit'nam bow'rs (Aonian-Twit'nam bow'rs)!
Thy fofteft plenitude of beauties shed,
Thick as the winter fiars, or fummer flow'rs;
Albe the tuneful master (ah!) be dead.
To Colin next he taught my youth to fing,
My reed to warble, to refound my firing:
The king of fhepherd's he, of poet's he the king.
Hail, happy fcenes, where joy wou'd choose to dwell;
Hail, golden days, which Saturn deems his own;
Hail mufic, which the mufes fcant excel;
Hail flowrets, not unworthy Venus' crown.
Ye linnets, larks, ye thrushes, nightingales;
Ye hills, ye plains, ye groves, ye ftreams, ye vales,
Ye ever happy fcenes! all you, your poet hails.
All hail to thee, O MAY! the crown of all!
The recompence and glory of my fong:
Ne fmall the recompence, ne glory small,
If gentle ladies, and the tuneful-throng,
With lover's-myrtle, and with poet's-bay,
Fairly bedight, approve the fimple lay,
And think on THOMALIN whene'er they hail thee, MAY!
SEVEN AGES OF MAN.
ALL the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits, and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being feven Ages.-At first, the INFANT,