1769 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Scott of Amwell

John Langhorne, "A Monody, inscribed to my worthy Friend John Scott, Esq., 1769" Chalmers, Works of the English Poets (1810) 16:459.



Friend of my genius! on whose natal hour,
Shone the same star, but shone with brighter ray;
Oft as amidst thy Amwell's shades I stray,
And mark thy true taste in each winding bower,
From my full eye why falls the tender shower,
While other thoughts than these fair scenes convey,
Bear on my trembling mind, and melts its powers away?
Ah me! my friend! in happier hours I spread,
Like thee, the wild walk o'er the varied plain;
The fairest tribe of Flora's painted train,
Each bolder shrub that grac'd her genial bed,
When old Sylvanus, by young wishes led,
Stole to her arms, of such fair offspring vain.
That bore their mother's beauties on their head,
Like thee, inspir'd by love — 'twas Delia's charms!
'Twas Delia's taste the new creation gave:
For her my groves in plaintive sighs would wave,
And call her absent to their master's arms.

She comes — Ye flowers, your fairest blooms unfold,
Ye waving groves, your plaintive sighs forbear,
Breathe all your fragrance to the am'rous air,
Ye smiling shrubs whose heads are cloth'd with gold!
She comes, by truth, by fair affection led,
The long lov'd mistress of my faithful heart!
The mistress of my soul, no more to part,
And all my hopes and all my vows are sped,
Vain, vain delusions! dreams for ever fled!
Ere twice the spring had wak'd the genial hour,
The lovely parent bore one beauteous flower,
And droop'd her gentle head,
And sunk, for ever sunk, into her silent bed.

Friend of my genius! partner of my fate!
To equal sense of painful suffering born!
From whose fond breast a lovely parent torn,
Bedew'd thy pale cheek with a tear so late—
Oh! let us mindful of the short, short date,
That bears the spoil of human hopes away,
Indulge sweet mem'ry of each happier day!
No! close, for ever close the iron gate
Of cold oblivion on that dreary cell,
Where the pale shades of past enjoyments dwell,
And, pointing to their bleeding bosoms, say,
"On life's disastrous hour what varied woes await!"

Let scenes of softer, gentler kind,
Awake to fancy's soothing call,
And milder on the pensive mind,
The shadow's thought of grief shall fall.
Oft as the slowly-closing day
Draws her pale mantle from the dew-star's eye,
What time the shepherd's cry
Leads from the pastur'd hills his flocks away,
Attentive to the tender lay
That steals from Philomela's breast,
Let us in musing silence stray,
Where Lee beholds in mazes slow
His uncomplaining waters flow,
And all his whisp'ring shores invite the charms of rest.