1797 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Thomson

Anonymous, "The Seasons: inscribed to the Memory of Thomson" South-Carolina Weekly Museum (1 April 1797) 408.



To usher in the smiling years,
Nature's gentle bard appears!
Descriptive Thomson! on thy head
Every muse sweet influence shed.

Etherial mildness! while the spring
Her cheerful robe of green shall bring;
And softens the relenting year;
And flow'rs with silken leaves appear:
And purple health, and blossom'd field,
Around their balmy fragrance yield;
And genial nature smiles, and gay
Salutes the rosy-footed May:
While lofty summer's sultry hour
Calls for the cool sequester'd bow'r;
And poet, negligently laid,
Haunts crystal stream and sylvan shade;
And dashing cat'racts, foaming fall;
And thunder rolls through airy hall!
And nimble lightnings flash; and round
Start the gloomy woods profound:
While autumn gilds, from region bright,
The happy world with golden light;
And libra weighs, serene and clear,
In equal scales, the falling year;
And woodlands raise their latest song;
And wand'rer weeps the leaves among,
When dying nature seems to call,
"Prepare, prepare my funeral!"
While winter wrapt in midnight glooms,
Father of the tempest, comes;
And calls his ruffian blasts, and reigns,
Ruthless tyrant o'er the plains;
And roars the river down the dale,
Arrested oft by icy gale;
And shakes the sounding world, defac'd;
And rushes wild the wat'ry waste:
While rounding thus the varying year,
The circling seasons still appear;
So long shall last thy matchless song,
Gentlest of the tuneful throng.