1789 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Hamilton Reid

Philomela, "Lines addressed to W. Hamilton Reid" New Lady's Magazine 4 (July 1789) 381.



And do I in this pleasing channel find
Thy wood-notes warbled? artless, yet refin'd,
As Fancy waves her rainbow-tinted wing,
Bright as the summer, fertile as the spring,
Unfenc'd from blights of penury severe,
Thy blossoms still are varied as the year:
And if such fragrance scent their rising fair
Matur'd, what might so rich a seed-plot bear?
Did but some generous patronising friend,
From noxious weeds and pestering thorns defend,
Could less attend the renovated hours,
Than all the garniture of fruits and flow'rs.
Yet do I hear some drooping florets cry,
"Depress'd we sicken, unsustain'd we die!
From earth's low bed, alas! we rose in vain,
Since wintry skies, and clouds, for ever reign."
Sweet plaintive blooms, had I the solar ray,
One look should chace th' obscuring clouds away;
The foliage brighten, and expand with joy
A laurel shade, that time should ne'er annoy.
But since that I no patron honours share,
This verse may speak the ardent wish I bear,
To wake the feelings of some abler breast,
For genius cramp'd, for worth obscur'd, deprest:
To point thy beauties to the fair be mine;
If they, like Phoebus, on thy lays should shine,
Or kind as Scotia, bless their poet's toil,
(Who breaks no more an unreturning soil,)
Should such kind hands assist each beauteous birth,
Raise them that droop, or meliorate the earth;
Ah! then no more should storm or blast invade,
But in those bow'rs, by their assistance made,
Amaranths should bloom, and poestan roses glow,
Long as the spring returns, or zephyrs blow,
While they enraptur'd glean the mazy pride,
With fancy, ease, and pleasure, by their side.