1791 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Shenstone

Corydon, "To a Lady, with Shenstone's Poems" The Star (5 April 1791).



Let SHENSTONE, in sweet flowing verse,
The charms of his PHYLLIS declare,
But what can the Poets rehearse,
That may not be seen in my Fair?
The sweets which Arabia displays,
With her breath unsuccessfully vie;
The Diamond would fade, and its rays
Be dimm'd, by a glance from her eye.

Her tresses which carelessly flow
In her fair neck, enchantingly play;
Her bosom is whiter than snow—
Her blush like the Roses of May;
But vainly I strive to express
What beauties her person has join'd;
It is form'd to delight and to bless,
And equall'd alone by her mind.

While my pen pleasing Fancy inclines
A subject so dear to pursue,
Would you know whom the writer designs?
Irresistible girl! it is you—
O mildly your beauties employ,
Nor fill the fond bosom with care,
For your smile is the parent of Joy,
Your frown the sad source of Despair.

Nor let a true Lover in vain
Submit to the force of your charms;
But tenderly hear him complain,
And yield the rich prize to his arms;
And since for sweet Love you are made,
And destin'd each bosom to move,
To him let your homage be paid,
In youth — the fit season for Love.