1735 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Jane Brereton

W. C., "On the unknown Melissa" Gentleman's Magazine 5 (November 1735) 673.



Th' unknown Melissa may be gay,
And blooming as the month of May;
Fresh as Aurora's eastern rays,
And wake a world, to sing her praise:
But western rays appear decay'd,
And blossoms fall, and colours fade.
A hint, Melissa! if a maid.

Or like Apollo's zenith hour:
Past bud and balmy honey dew,
Unfolds, and sets her seed in view,
Most sweetly deck'd in golden hue.

Or like Autumnal, plenteous horn!
With ripen'd fruits, and sheaves of corn;
Indulgent to the world she yields,
The produce of her cultur'd fields.

Or if the frigid season's nigh,
Life's winter, cold, benumb'd, and dry;
I value not the outward form,
The beauteous soul is young and warm.

Then let Melissa's age be morn,
Or noon, or eve, or night forlorn;
Or let her outward form be grac'd,
With ev'ry beauty justly plac'd;
Or deck'd with ev'ry lying sign,
That all within is not divine.
Her numbers, humour, force, and fire,
My soul enraptur'd, must admire.