1716 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Joseph Addison

Nicholas Rowe, "Stanzas to Lady Warwick on Mr. Addison's going to Ireland" 1716 ca.; Works of the English Poets (1779) 26:61-62.



Ye Gods and Nereid nymphs, who rule the sea!
Who chain loud storms, and still the raging main!
With care the gentle Lycidas convey,
And bring the faithful lover safe again.

When Albion's shore with chearless heart he left,
Pensive and sad upon the deck he stood,
Of every joy in Chloe's eyes bereft,
And wept his sorrows in the swelling flood.

Ah, fairest maid! whom, as I well divine,
The righteous gods his just reward ordain;
For his return thy pious wishes join,
That thou at length may'st pay him for his pain.

And since his love does thine alone pursue,
In arts unpractis'd and unus'd to range;
I charge thee be by his example true,
And shun thy sex's inclination, change.

When crouds of youthful lovers round thee wait,
And tender thoughts in sweetest words impart;
When thou art woo'd by titles, wealth, and state,
Then think on Lycidas, and guard thy heart.

When the gay theatre shall charm thy eyes,
When artful wit shall speak th beauty's praise;
When harmony shall thy soft soul surprize,
Sooth all thy senses, and thy passions raise:

Amidst whatever various joys appear,
Yet breathe one sigh, for one sad minute mourn;
Nor let thy heart know one delight sincere,
Till thy own truest Lycidas return.