1760 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Thompson

Edward Cooper, in "In Retirement. Inscribed to Mr. Thompson" A Collection of Elegiac Poesy (1760) 31-32.



Too weakly indolent to jilt the muse,
The soft enthusiast yields t' enticing song;
Who can thy sweetness, Thompson, once refuse,
That e'er to love's soft train did once belong?

Unhappiest sure of all unhappy men,
Ye finer souls who mellow into love
From the slight touches of a poet's pen,
And in your breast such sweetest pain approve.

Without the gift of fortune's partial hand,
What boots, my Laura, once for me to know,
That Maro liv'd in fair Italia's land,
Or Delia caus'd the muse-fir'd poets woe?

When August wander'd all our up-lands o'er,
Or lusty April mantled in her bloom,
Where rivers stray along in humid store,
How oft did we our ev'ry hour consume?

When Leo rode sole emperor of the sky,
And thirsty flowers of refreshment lack'd;
To still retreats together would we hie,
And kiss ideal fictions into fact.

The Medecean Venus have I seen,
In sportive daliance, amorous delay;
So lightly trip it o'er the verdant green,
Streaming all around her lambent day.