1800 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Thomson

Mr. Woods, "Introductory to the Recitation of Passages of the Seasons, at the Commencement of Thomson's Birth-day, by the Knights Companions of the Cape" Scots Magazine 62 (October 1800) 703.



Let Autumn's brow by Fancy crown'd,
Again th' appropriate wreath display,
And Music breathe her sweetest sound
To greet a Thomson's natal day.

And ye whose hearts in concord swell
If Nature's praise the song endear,
On his fair themes delighted dwell,
Where peerless shines the perfect year.

Ye circling Seasons, various Powers,
Still as ye change, his praise renew;
As Tweed reflects the pendant flowers,
Your Bard, as faithful, pictures you.

If Spring advance with modest mien,
While infant Zephyrs sport beside;
If Summer, languid, press the green,
Or with hot limb embrace the tide;

If Autumn bend her lovely form,
Beneath her ripen'd wealth oppress'd;
If Winter ride the howling storm,
Or on the mountain, frowning, rest:

Our Poet's song, for ever true,
Another Nature there we trace;
While o'er each scene Correctness drew,
Bright Genius shed peculiar grace.

Nor yet restrain'd with partial wing
To mark how roll'd the rural year,—
In human life the turns that spring
He ponder'd, with a glance as clear.

Each generous purpose of the soul
His to display with zeal confest;
The Passion, Scipio cou'd controul,
The Love, that warm'd Palaemon's breast.

Skill'd in the Drama's powerful art,
He storm'd the breast with grief, despair:
When he wou'd paint the social part,
He look'd within, and trac'd it there.

While favouring Heav'n this day return,
Shall Nature's votary hold it dear;
Still shall th' ingenious bosom burn
To spread the fame it must revere.

Let rural Youths promote the dance,
The rural Maid well pleas'd attend;
While grateful thoughts her smiles advance,
Pure homage to soft Beauty's Friend.

So oft, let Taste and Friendship meet,
And yield to decent Joy the sway;
Music, inspir'd, the strain repeat
That greets a Thomson's natal day.