1750 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Hester Mulso Chapone

William Duncombe, "To Daphne, on Valentine's Day, 1750" Select Collection of Poems with Notes Biographical and Historical (1780-82) 6:18-19.



See! Daphne, see! the sun with purer light
Now gilds the morn, and chases gloomy night;
Advancing, each return, with brighter beams,
He spreads his glories o'er the fields and streams.
The snow dissolves before the western gale,
And vernal flowers adorn the smiling vale.
To life renew'd, the budding trees awake,
And from the stem the roseate blossoms break;
The Cyprian Queen o'er every grove and plain,
O'er beasts and birds, resumes her welcome reign;
The birds are pair'd, and warble through the grove,
And beasts obey the genial call of Love.
Hence first the venerable rite begun,
For ages past convey'd from sire to son,
For every swain on this auspicious day,
To choose some maid, the coming year to sway;
To crop the violet and primrose fair,
And deck with decent wreaths her glossy hair.
For me, (content with what wise Heaven ordains,
This chequer'd scene, alternate joys and pains;)
For me, the Spring of life shall bloom no more;
Nor Summer shine, nor Autumn spread her store;
Winter alone, with chearless hand, will shed
Henceforth, the snow of age around my head.
But, though this clay-built tenement decline,
Still may th' immortal guest unclouded shine;
And, if Euterpe not disdain to smile,
Your Bard from Helicon, with pleasing toil,
Will with fresh flowers unfading garlands twine,
To crown his sweetly-warbling Valentine.