1761 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Woty

Monimia, "To the Author of the Shrubs of Parnassus" Lloyd's Evening Post (6 February 1761) 121-22.



To charm the young, the thoughtless, and the gay,
Seduc'd in Folly's flow'ry paths to stray;
To teach the Zealot, Virtue unconfin'd,
Sheds her impartial rays o'er all mankind,
Oh! how superior when she keeps her seat,
Where Syrens sing, and waves of pleasure beat;
Regardless of their pow'r, than when she dwells
In solitary grots or cloister'd cells;
Vice to divest of her alluring wiles,
Fallacious pleasures, and insidious smiles;
And paint the Fury, as she stands confess'd,
Promethean vulture of the guilty breast.
For this, sweet Bard! for this thy lyre was strung,
And, while Jehovah's praise employs thy tongue,
With what resistless energy you move
The awe-struck mind, to fear, adore, and love
The great, first Cause; whose all-pervading eye
Looks thro' the boundless regions of the sky;
And, whilst ten thousand worlds his voice obey,
Deigns to regard the sinful sons of clay.
Confus'd, the Sceptic shall renounce his pride,
And own weak Reason an uncertain guide:
Shall dare confess his Creed; convinc'd by thee,
That spirit, wit, politeness, piety,
May in one breast harmoniously agree.
While wrangling Casuists preach and write in vain,
Your tuneful Lays instruct and entertain;
With bright ey'd Hope you chear the mind forlorn,
With sweet Content extract Affliction's thorn.

When young Aurora, harbinger of Day,
Receives the early Woodlark's grateful lay.
Methinks I see thee range the thymey hill,
Or dewy lawn, where winds the mazy rill;
Or wand'ring devious, in the high-arch'd grove,
(Soft seats of Health, Joy, Innocence, and Love)
Where the mellifluous warblings of the wood,
And soothing murmurs of the falling flood,
The lowing herds and lambkins bleating round,
Transport thy senses with the various sound.

Thrice happy Youth! who can'st with ease impart
Such fair ideas to the raptur'd heart;
Whose Sense improves us, and whose Humour charms,
Whose Morals awe us, and whose Spirit warms.
Accept the Tribute of an humble Muse,
Unus'd to sip Castalia's hallow'd dews;
Whose languid lines confess her first Essay,
To you she sings, for you inspir'd the Lay.