1746
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ode XI. To a Lady who hates the Country.

Odes on Various Subjects. By Joseph Warton, B.A. of Oriel College, Oxon.

Rev. Joseph Warton


A Horatian ode in seven stanzas (aabcbc). Asks Joseph Warton, "Shall Sydney's Fables [the Arcadia] be preferred | To my sagacious Hoyle?" Edmond Hoyle (1672-1769) wrote the rules on whist.

Henry Augustus Beers: "Joseph was a man of some elegance; he was fond of the society of young ladies, went into general society, and had a certain renown as a drawing-room wit and diner-out" Romanticism in the Eighteenth Century (1899) 197.

Edmund Gosse: "In Joseph Warton, first, we meet with the individualist attitude to nature; a slightly hysterical exaggeration of feeling which was to be characteristic of romance; an intention of escaping from the vanity of mankind by an adventure into the wilds; a purpose of recovering primitive manners by withdrawing into primitive conditions; a passion for what we now consider the drawing-master's theory of the picturesque — the thatched cottage, the ruined castle with the moon behind it, the unfettered rivulet, the wilderness of 'the pine-topped precipice | Abrupt and shaggy'" "Joseph and Thomas Warton" in Some Diversions of a Man of Letters (1920) 75.

On this theme, compare Charles Graham of Penrith, "Eulogium on the Dignity of Verse" in in Poems (1778).



Now SUMMER, daughter of the Sun,
O'er the gay fields comes dancing on,
And earth o'erflows with joys;
Too long in routs and drawing-rooms,
The tasteless hours my fair consumes
'Midst folly, flattery, noise.

Come hear mild ZEPHYR bid the rose
Her balmy-breathing buds disclose,
Come hear the falling rill,
Observe the honey-loaded bee,
The beech-embower'd cottage see,
Beside yon' sloping hill.

By health awoke at early morn,
We'll brush sweet dews from every thorn,
And help unpen the fold;
Hence to yon' hollow oak we'll stray,
Where dwelt, as village-fables say,
An holy DRUID old.

Come wildly rove thro' desart dales,
To listen how lone nightingales
In liquid lays complain;
Adieu the tender, thrilling note,
That pants in MONTICELLI's throat,
And HANDEL's stronger strain.

"Insipid Pleasures these! you cry,
Must I from dear Assemblies fly,
To see rude peasants toil?
For Opera's listen to a bird?
Shall SYDNEY's fables be preferr'd
To my sagacious HOYLE?"

O falsly fond of what seems great,
Of purple pomp and robes of state,
And all life's tinsel glare!
Rather with humble violets bind,
Or give to wanton in the wind
Your length of sable hair.

Soon as you reach the rural shade,
Will MIRTH, the sprightly mountain-maid,
Your days and nights attend,
She'll bring fantastic SPORT and SONG,
Nor CUPID will be absent long,
Your true ally and friend.

[pp. 38-40]