1749
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Epithalamic Ode for Music.

Gentleman's Magazine 19 (October 1749) 468.

Anonymous


This anonymous lyric imitates Milton's companion poems, which were becoming very popular, rather than Spenser's Epithalamion. It was reprinted in the Scots Magazine 11 (1749) 494.

W. J. Courthope: "From Pastoralism and Elegy it is an easy step to Lyric verse. As the former poetical tendency signified a revival of the rural instincts of that feudal England which had been more or less overlaid by the coffee-house habits and town tastes encouraged by the Revolution of 1688; so the latter implied something of a reaction on behalf of sentiment and imagination against the ethical reasoning which, as we have seen, carried along the genius of Pope almost in his own despite" History of English Poetry (1895-1910) 5:378.



AIR I.
Eye of the world! whose all-enliv'ning ray
Awakes the world, and gives the day,
Auspicious gild this blissful morn, and pour
Each joy on Damon's nuptial hour:
Descend, ye graces! from your native sky,
And smile upon the hallow'd tie.

AIR II.
Genius of the bridal song!
Flame-rob'd Hymen, come along,
Come, chaste god! and bring with thee
Heart-inspiring minstrelsy!
Let thy fragrant garment wear
All that decks the vernal year!
Dip thy roses in the gale
Floating thro' Arabia's vale,
And bid thy clarions tell the grove,
That marriage ennobles the raptures of love.

GRAND CHORUS.
Hail, mystic union erst design'd
To raise, to harmonize the mind,
Rich source of all divine delights,
Unclouded days, and genial nights,
From vagrant guilt, soul sorc'ress! free,
A little heav'n is found in thee.

RECITATIVE.
What, tho' no solemn march, no pomp of show,
Form'd, by proud art, to hide the tear of woe,
Conduct thee, Damon! to the festal shrine,
Nor dare to mix with such a bliss as thine;
Yet, yet, each social virtue that inspires
The tender heart to glow with all its fires,
Waits on the scene, while kindling into joy,
Aerial music floats along the sky,
Be still, ye winds! th' enraptur'd love cry'd,
And fondly thus address'd his blooming bride.

AIR III.
Lovely sister of the graces!
Born like radiant Truth to shine,
All the joys ambition places
In proud courts, are less than mine.
Reason, o'er thy thoughts presiding,
Gives the soul perpetual rest,
Goodness all thy actions guiding,
Forms the cherub in thy breast.

AIR IV.
Come, winning softness! here possess
Pleasures which completely bless;
Domestic peace, for ever gay,
Shall smile the ling'ring hour away.
If music please, thy couch around
Shall float the soft melodious sound;
My heart's fair empress, Delia! live,
'Tis thine to ask, and mine to give.

RECITATIVE.
His soothing tale, his fond endearments, mov'd
The list'ning fair — she look'd, she sigh'd, she lov'd;
Swift on her cheek the morn's pure blushes glow,
While from her lips these melting numbers flow.

AIR V.
O Damon! blest with ev'ry art,
That charms the ear, that wins the heart,
And yielding nature fires;
To love's almighty pow'r I bow,
Ye angels! catch the willing vow,
And bless my chaste desires.
Adieu ye light fantastic toys!
Ye tasteless solitary joys
That wait the virgin train!
These dear auspicious moments prove
That in the sweets of nuptial love,
Immortal pleasures reign.

GRAND CHORUS.
Hail mystic union! &c.

[p. 468]