Page images

0, may his father's pant for finer fame,
And boundless bountyhead to humankind;
His grandsires' glory, and his uncle's name,
Renown'd in war! inflame his ardent mind:
So arts shall flourish ’neath his equal sway,
So arms the hostile nations wide affray;
The laurel Victory, Apollo wear the bay.

Through kind infusion of celestial power,
The dullard earth May quickeneth with delight:
Full suddenly the seeds of joy recure
Elastic spring, and force within empight t.
If senseless elements invigorate prove
By genial May, and heavy matter move, [love?
Shall shepherdesses cease, shall shepherds fail to

Ye shepherdesses, in a goodly round,
Purpled with health, as in the greenwood shade,
Incontinent ye thump the echoing ground
And deftly + lead the dance along the glade;
(0, may no showers your merry-makes affray!)
Hail at the opening, at the closing day,
All hail, ye bonnibels $, to your own season, May.

Nor ye absent yourselves, ye shepherd swains,
But lend to dance and song the liberal May,
And while in jocund ranks you beat the plains,
Your flocks shall nibble and your lambkins play,
Frisking in glee. To May your garlands bring,
And ever and anon her praises sing : [ring.
The woods shall echo May, with May the valleys

+ Placed, fixed.

| Finely.

• Recover. ý Pretty women, VOL. III.



Your Maypole deck with flowery coronal;
Sprinkle the flowery coronal with wine;
And in the nimble-footed galliard, all,
Shepherds and shepherdesses, lively, join.
Hither from village sweet and hamlet fair,
From bordering cot and distant glen repair,
Let youth indulge its sport, to eld* bequeath its


Ye wanton Dryads and light-tripping Fawns,
Ye jolly Satyrs, full of lustyhead +,
And ye that haunt the hills, the brooks, the lawns;
0, come with rural chaplets gay dispread:
With heel so nimble wear the springing grass,
To shrilling bagpipe, or to tinkling brass ;
Or foot it to the reed; Pan pipes himself apace.

In this soft season, when creation smiled,
A quivering splendour on the ocean hung,
And from the fruitful froth, his fairest child,
The queen of bliss and beauty, Venus-sprung.
The dolphins gambol o'er the watery way,
Carol the Naiads, while the Tritons play,
And all the seagreen Sisters bless the holiday.

In honour of her natal month, the queen
Of bliss and beauty consecrates her hours,
Fresh as her cheek, and as her brow serene,
To buxom ladies, and their paramours.
Love tips with golden alchymy his dart;
With rapturous anguish, with a honey'd smart,
Eye languishes on eye, and heart dissolves on heart.

Old age.

+ Vigour.

A softly swelling hill, with myrtles crown'd
(Myrtles to Venus algates* sacred þeen),
Hight Acidale, the fairest spot on ground,
For ever fragrant and for ever green,
O'erlooks the windings of a shady vale,
By beauty form’d for amorous regale.
Was ever hill so sweet as sweetest Acidale?

All down the sides, the sides profuse of flowers,
A hundred rills, in shining mazes, flow
Through mossy grottos, amaranthine bowers,
And form a laughing flood in vale below :
Where oft their limbs the Loves and Graces bayt
(When Summer sheds insufferable day) [play.
And sport and dive and flounce in wantonness of

No noise o'ercomes the silence of the shades,
Save short-breathed vows, the dear excess of joy;
Or harmless giggle of the youths and maids,
Who yield obeisance to the Cyprian boy:
Or lute, soft-sighing in the passing gale;
Or fountain, gurgling down the sacred vale;
Or hymn to beauty's queen, or lover's tender tale.

Here Venus revels, here maintains her court
In light festivity and gladsome game:
The young and gay, in frolic troops resort,
Withouten censure and withouten blame.
In pleasure steep'd, and dancing in delight,
Night steals upon the day, the day on night:
Each knight his lady loves ; each lady loves her


[blocks in formation]

Where lives the man (if such a man there be),
In idle wilderness or desert drear,
To beauty's sacred power an enemy?
Let foul fiends harrow * him; I'll drop no tear.
I deem that carl +, by beauty's power unmoved,
Hated of heaven, of none but hell approved :
O may be never love, O never be beloved!
Hard is his heart, unmelted by thee, May!
Unconscious of love's nectar-tickling sting,
And, unrelenting, cold to Beauty's ray;
Beauty the mother and the child of Spring!
Beauty and Wit declare the sexes even;
Beauty to woman, wit to man is given ;
Neither the slime of earth, but each the fire of

Alliance sweet! let beauty wit approve,
As flowers to sunshine ope the ready breast:
Wit Beauty loves, and nothing else can love:
The best alone is grateful to the best.
Perfection has no other parallel !
Can light with darkness, doves with ravens dwell ?
As soon, perdiet, shall heaven communion hold

with hell, I sing to you,

who love alone for love:
For gold the beauteous fools (O fools besure!)
Can win; though brighter Wit shall never move :
But Folly is to Wit the certain cure.
Cursed be the men (or be they young or old),
Cursed be the women, who themselves have sold
To the detested bed for lucre base of gold.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

• Destroy.

+ A clown.
An old word for asserting any thing.



Not Julia such: she higher honour deem'd
To languish in the Sulmo poet's arms
Than, by the potentates of earth esteem'd,
To give to sceptres and to crowns her charms,
Not Laura such: in sweet Vauclusa's vale
She listen'd to her Petrarch's amorous tale.
But did poor Colin Clout* o'er Rosalind prevail ?
Howe'er that be; in Acidalian shadet,
Embracing Julia, Ovid melts the day:
No dreams of banishment his loves invade;
Encircled in eternity of May.
Here Petrarch with his Laura, soft reclined
On violets, gives sorrow to the wind :
And Colin Clout pipes to the yielding Rosalind.
Pipe on, thou sweetest of the’ Arcadian train,
That e'er with tuneful breath inform’d the quill:
Pipe on, of lovers the most loving swain !
Of bliss and melody O take thy filla

• Spenser

+ These three celebrated poets and lovers were all of thein unbappy in their amours. Ovid was banished on account of his passion for Julia. Death deprived Petrarch of his beloved Laura very early; as be bimself tells us in his account of bis own life. Tbese are his words—Amore acerrimo, sed unico et bonesto, in adolescentia laboravi, et diutius laborassem, nisi jam tepescentem ignem mors acerba, sed utilis, extinxisset.' See bis Works, Basil, fol. Tom. 1. Yet others say, she married another person; which is scarce probable; since Petrarch lamented her death for ten years afterwards, as appears from Sonetto 313, with a most uncommon ardour of passion. Tho. masinus, in his curious book, called ' Petrarcha Redivivus,' has given us two prints of Laura, with an account of her family, their loves, and the sweet retirement in Vaucluse. As for Spenser, we may conclude that his love for Rosalinda proved unsuccessful from the pathetical complaints, in geveral of his poems, of her cruelty. The author, therefore, thougbt it only a poetical kind of justice to reward them in this ima. ginary retreat of Lovers, for the misfortunes they really suffered here, on accoant of their passions,

« PreviousContinue »