1756 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Warton

Academicus, "The Return: An Ode written at the Close of the Oxford Long-Vacation, 1756" London Magazine 25 (November 1756) 560.



From flatt'ring scenes, where Syren indolence,
With many a wile has sooth'd the ling'ring hours,
Fair Fame at length has wak'd my sickly sense,
And point my steps to Cherwell's classic bow'rs.

Yet once again shall I transported stray,
A lonely pilgrim on her twilight banks,
And with the wave as her dank osiers play,
View the trim Naiads trip in shadowy ranks!

But chief o'er Cherwell's borders would I rove,
Where Addison amid the beeches green,
Met Cato's form, and smit with patriot love,
In solemn lines pourtray'd his awful mien.

Or let me hold short dalliance with the nine,
Where Isis weaves her wreath of wat'ry flow'rs,
Whose streams, diffus'd in bed capacious shine
A broader mirrour to th' inverted tow'rs.

Nor seldom wou'd I tread with hermit pace
Fair Trinity, the mazy glooms among;
Where Warton, lov'd of every muse and grace,
Pay'd to soft Isis' shrine his Attic song.

What tho' those groves, in Autumn's fading hues
All drearly clad, my late return shall find;—
Yet so they best will charm my mind to muse
On her, the meek-ey'd nymph, I leave behind.