1803 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Warton the Elder

Joseph Dennie, "An American Love Ode" Port Folio [Philadelphia] 3 (2 July 1803) 210.



The foundation of the following pretty ode is in the Essays of Michael Montaigne, who, in his rambling, but agreeable way, relates his discovery of the Indian original, and his surprise at finding such a festive and Anacreontic turn to a poem, written in ruder time, by the rudest of bards. The following, in its English dress, is from the pen of Mr. Thomas Warton, the father of two poetical brothers; a family in which Genius, Taste, and Invention seem to be hereditary.

AN AMERICAN LOVE ODE.
TAKEN FROM THE SECOND VOLUME OF MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYS.
Stay, stay, thou lovely fearful snake,
Nor hide thee in yon darksome brake;
But let me oft thy charms review,
Thy glittering scales and golden hue;
From these a chaplet shall be wove
To grace the youth I dearest love.

Then ages hence, when thou no more
Shalt creep along the sunny shore,
Thy copied beauties shall be seen;
The red and azure, mix'd with green,
In mimic folds thou shalt display:
Stay, lovely, fearful, adder, stay.