1750 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Joseph Spence

Glocester Ridley, "An Invitation into the Country, in imitation of Horace, B. IV. Ode XII" 1750 ca.; Nichols, Select Collection of Poems (1780-82) 8:79-80.



Now, waiting on the Spring, soft gales
Smooth the rough waves, and fill the sails,
The fields are green; the river flows,
Disburthen'd of its ice and snows.

Now does the nightingale return,
In sadly pleasing notes to mourn
Th' unhappy boy too rashly slain!
And wakens all her griefs again.

The shepherds, stretch'd the grass along,
Indulge the chearful pipe and song;
Pan, patron of Arcadian swains,
Well-pleas'd, might listen to their strains.

Heat brings on drought: yet, friend, scot-free
Think not to quench your thirst with me.
You are so us'd with lords to dine!—
—I can't afford it: — earn your wine.

Clap in your pocket prose or verse,
And freely then my hogshead pierce:
Drink, till new warmth inspire our hopes
To laugh at Grand Monarques and Popes.

On terms like these if you consent,
Haste thee, and bring th' equivalent:
I am no lord; nor think it fit
To sell my wine for less than wit.

Come, let the grass stand still a day:
True wisdom must have some allay,
To make it sterling; time and place
Give Folly's self a pleasing grace.