1755 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Warton

Anonymous, "Verses written in a blank Leaf of Mr. T. Warton's Observations on Spenser's Fairy Queen" London Magazine (May 1755) 245.



As oft on Camus rushy turf reclin'd,
I joy'd to trace old Spenser's mystic page;
And fed with fancy's feast my musing mind,
A feast that could delight Eliza's age.

Much would I grieve, that o'er a page so pure,
All-envying time had cast his dim disguise;
As April show'rs, by gloomy fits, obscure
The noon-tide radiance of the smiling skies.

Lo! Warton came — from every fretted tale
To clear the rust that canker'd all around;
His skilful hand unlocks each fairy vale,
And opes each flow'ry forest's magic bound.

Thus never knight advent'rous dar'd invade,
Of Busyrane th' impervious castle drear;
Till Britomart each secret bow'r display'd,
And burst the mighty spell with golden spear.

Th' heroic maid with haughty step explor'd
Each room array'd in glorious imag'ry,
And thro' th' enchanted chamber richly stor'd,
Saw Cupid's stately maske come sweeping by.

At this (where'er by pearl-pav'd fount, I ween,
They rove at large amid the myrtle rows;)
Reviving Una lifts her princely mien,
And Florimel's fair wreath more freshly glows.

At this, long drooping in forlorn despair,
Her painted wings Imagination plumes,
Pleas'd that her page, by Warton's classic care,
Its native charm, and genuine grace resumes.