ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
Cotswouldia [Mrs. John Thomas], "To William Shenstone, Esq. The Production of half an hour's Leisure, Aug. 30, 1761" London Magazine 31 (January 1762) 46-47.
1737: William Shenstone
1749: Lady Luxborough
1750 ca.: Rev. Richard Graves
1751: Rev. Richard Jago
1755: Robert Dodsley
1756: John Scott Hylton
1758: Alexander Carlyle
1759: James Woodhouse
1760: Edward Cooper
1760: Rev. Richard Graves
1761: Mrs. John Thomas
1763: Edward Cooper
1763: Rev. Richard Graves
1763: John Cunningham
1763: Edward Cooper
1763: Mary Darwall
1763 ca.: A Lady
1763: Dr. S.
1763: T. H.
1764: Rev. John Langhorne
1765: Cuthbert Shaw
1765: John Oakman
1766: John Scott of Amwell
1769: Thomas Gray
1771: William Roscoe
1771: Rev. Richard Graves
1772: Rev. John Ball
1773: Thomas Lyttleton
1774: Samuel Jackson Pratt
1774: Charles Graham
1776: Rev. Thomas Maurice
1778: Richard Tickell
1778: Old Robin
1779: J. M.
1779: Menassah Dawes
1780: J. W.
1782: Samuel Johnson
1783: Edmond Malone
1784: De Sp—do
1785: H. R.
1787: Robert Burns
1788: John Williams
1789: A Bard of the Wrekin
1791: Isaac D'Israeli
1792: Anna Seward
1792: John Bennet
1793: J. H. C.
1793: Captain John Majoribanks
1795: Dr. Robert Anderson
1797: Mr. Mott
1798: Anna Seward
1802: George Dyer
1805: Thomas Park
1806: Dr. John Aikin
1806: John F. M. Dovaston
1807: Robert Southey
1808: Anne Grant
1812: A. F.
1814: John Hamilton Reynolds
1814: James Jennings
1815: William Wordsworth
1818: William Hazlitt
1818: David Parkes
1823: David Parkes
1823: T. H.
1824: Bryan Waller Procter
1829: Anna Brownell Jameson
1830: Rev. George Barrell Cheever
1836: Hartley Coleridge
1836: L. L.
1842: C. H. Timperley
1855 ca.: Rev. John Mitford
1859: Leigh Hunt
1880: George Saintsbury
1882: Epes Sargent
1910: Ralph Straus
Mrs. John Thomas:
1761: William Shenstone
Health to the bard, in Leasowes' happy groves;
Health, and sweet converse with the Muse he loves!
The humblest vot'ry of the tuneful Nine,
With trembling hand, attempts the artless line,
In numbers such as untaught Nature brings,
As flow, spontaneous, like thy native springs.
But ah! what airy forms around me rise,
The russet mountain glows with richer dyes!
In circling dance a pigmy croud appear,
And hark! an infant voice salutes my ear!
"Mortal, thy aim we know, thy task approve;
His merit honour, and his genius love:
For us what verdant carpets has he spread,
Where, nightly, we our mystic mazes tread!
For us each shady grove and rural seat,
His falling streams and flowing numbers sweet.
Didst thou not mark amid the winding dell,
What tuneful verse adorns the root-wove cell?
There ev'ry fairy of our sprightly train
Resorts, to bless the woodland and the plain:
There as we move unbidden beauties glow,
The green turf brightens, and the violets blow;
And there with thought sublime we bless the swain,
Nor we inspire, nor he attends in vain.
"Go, simple rhymer, bear this message true,
The truths that fairies dictate none shall rue.
"Say to the bard, in Leasowes happy grove,
Whom dryads honour, and whom fairies love,—
Content thyself no longer that thy lays,
By others foster'd, lend to others praise;
No longer to the fav'ring world refuse,
The welcome treasures of thy polish'd muse;
Collect the flowers that own thy valu'd name,
Unite the spoil, and give the wreath to Fame.
Ne'er can thy morals, taste, or verse engage
More solid fame, than in this happier age;
When sense, when virtue's cherish'd by the throne,
And each illustrious privilege their own.
Though modest be thy gentle Muse, I ween,
O, lead her blushing, from the daisy'd green,
A fit attendant on Britannia's Queen!"
Ye sportive elves, as faithful I relate
Th' intrusted mandates of your fairy state,
Visit these wilds again with nightly care,
So shall my kine, of all the herd, repair,
In healthy plight, to fill the copious pail;
My sheep be penn'd, with safety, in the dale;
My poultry fear no robber in the roost;
My linen more than common whiteness boast:
Let order, peace, and housewif'ry, be mine:
SHENSTONE! be taste, and fame, and fortune thine!