Ode, pp.158-160.

[Tea-Table Miscellany Contents]

To Mrs. A. R. 


Tune of, Love’s Goddess in a Mirtle Grove. 


NOW spring begins her smiling round, 

And lavish paints th’ enamell’d ground; 

The birds now lift their chearful voice, 

And gay on every bough rejoyce: 

The lovely graces hand in hand 

Knit fast in love’s eternal band, 

With early step, at morning dawn, 

Tread lightly o’er the dewy lawn. 


Where’er the youthful sisters move, 

They fire the soul to genial love: 

Now, by the river’s painted side, 

The swain delights his country bride; 

While pleas’d, she hears his artless Vows, 

Each bird his feather’d consort wooes: 

Soon will the ripen’d summer yield 

Her various gifts to every field. 


The fertile trees, a lovely show! 

With ruby-tinctur’d births shall glow; 

Sweet smells from beds of lillies born 

Perfume the breezes of the morn: 

The similing day and dewy night 

To rural scenes my fair invite; 

With summer sweets to feast her eye, 

Yet soon, soon, will the summer fly. 


Attend, my lovely maid, and know 

To profit by th’ instructive show, 

Now young and blooming thou appears 

All in the flourish of thy years: 

The lovely bud shall soon disclose 

To every eye the blushing rose; 

Now, now the tender stalk is seen 

With beauty fresh, and ever green. 


But when the sunny hours are past, 

Think not the coz’ning scene will last; 

Let not the flatt’rer hope perswade, 

Ah! must I say, that it will fade! 

For see the summer flies away, 

Sad emblem of our own decay! 

Now winter from the frozen north 

Drives swift his iron chariot forth. 


His grizly hands in icy chains 

Fair Tweda’s silver stream constrains. 

Cast up thy eyes, how bleak and bare 

He wanders on the tops of Yare; 

Behold his foot-steps dire are seen 

Confest o’er every with’ring green; 

Griev’d at the sight, when thou shalt see 

A snowy wreath to cloath each tree. 


Frequenting now the stream no more, 

Thou flyes, displeas’d, the frozen shore, 

When thou shall miss the flowers that grew 

But late, to charm thy ravish’d view; 

Then shall a sigh thy soul invade, 

And o’er thy pleasures cast a shade: 

Shall I, ah! horrid! wilt thou say, 

Be like to this some other day? 


Yet when in snow and dreary frost 

The pleasure of the fields is lost, 

To blazing hearths at home we run, 

And fires supply the distant sun; 

In gay delights our hours employ, 

And do not lose, but change our joy. 

Happy! abandon every care, 

To lead the dance, to court the fair. 


To turn the page of sacred bards, 

To drain the bowl, and deal the cards. 

In cities thus with witty friends 

In smiles the hoary season ends. 

But when the lovely white and red 

From the pale ashy cheek is fled, 

Then wrinkles dire, and age severe 

Make beauty fly, we know not where. 


The fair, whom fates unkind disarm, 

Ah! must they ever cease to charm? 

Or is there left some pleasing art 

To keep secure a captive heart? 

Unhappy love! may lovers say, 

Beauty, thy food, does swift decay; 

When once that short-liv’d stock is spent, 

What is’t thy famine can prevent? 


Lay in good sense with timeous care, 

That love may live on wisdom’s fare: 

Tho’ extasy with beauty flies, 

Esteem is born when beauty dies, 

Happy the man whom fates decree 

Their richest gift in giving thee; 

Thy beauty shall his youth engage, 

Thy wisdom shall delight his age. 

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