1758
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

L'Amoroso. A Poem. In imitation of Milton's L'Allegro.

The Poetical Calendar. Containing a Collection of scarce and valuable Pieces of Poetry: with Variety of Originals and Translations, by the most eminent Hands. Intended as a Supplement to Mr. Dodsley's Collection. 12 vols [Francis Fawkes and William Woty, eds.]

Rev. Mr. P.


The "Rev. Mr. P." imitates Milton's L'Allegro in verses " Written in the year MDCCLVIII" and published in the Poetical Calendar (1763): "Come, and bring thy wanton Boy, | Cause of fondness, source of joy, | And bid him take that golden dart, | That erst transfix'd Apollo's heart." The Poetical Calendar, in twelve volumes for the twelve months of the year, was edited by Francis Fawkes and William Woty. Its contents, among which are five poems by Mr. P., are similiar to those of Dodsley's Collection of poems.

Henry Augustus Beers: "Parody is one of the surest testimonies to the prevalence of a literary fashion ... Bell's Fugitive Poetry, Vol. XI. (1791) has a section devoted to 'poems in the manner of Milton,' by Evans, Mason, T. Warton, and a Mr. P. (L'Amoroso)" Romanticism in the Eighteenth Century (1899) 160-61n.



Hence! unrelenting cares,
That haunt the proud, and rend the miser's breast,
And far expel delightsome rest,
And bring disquiet, sleepless nights, and starting fears;
Hence! and that mind controul,
Where sickly Pining takes her hated seat,
With Grief and Dread; companions meet:
There, far from me, exert thine iron sway,
And every tedious night and day
Reign o'er the heart, and occupy the soul.
But come, thou goddess, fond and free,
Auspicious Love, and dwell with me,
Thou whom, with thy wreathed shell,
Old Ocean bore (as poets tell)
While round thee, beauteous, blooming maid,
Deftly the frisking dolphins play'd.
Come, and bring thy wanton Boy,
Cause of fondness, source of joy,
And bid him take that golden dart,
That erst transfix'd Apollo's heart,
When, with full force and winged speed,
O'er tufted lawn, and flowery mead,
Now slow, with long toil, up some steep,
Now down precipitately deep,
Thro' many a grove, and many a glade,
The god pursued the flying maid.
Bring besides thy joyous train,
Soft supporters of thy reign,
Wanton smiles, endearments charming,
Mirth and coyness unalarming,
Whispers, kisses, sighs, and fears,
Lovely looks and trickling tears,
Joy of festive, sprightly mien,
And Innocence of look serene;
Thy smiling train can never cloy,
If led by Innocence and Joy.
Permit me, goddess, fond and free,
To join with them, and join with thee;
Ever present, ever by,
Thus let me live, thus let me die.
Rise we when the meek-eyed morn
Doth the spangled meads adorn;
When every bird, from every spray,
Tunes various his love-labour'd lay.
Lo! from yon cloud the flaming sun
'Gins his stated course to run,
Brightening rays incessant streaming,
Dew drops sparkling, twinkling, beaming,
Refreshed Nature smiles anew,
And brings her brightest charms to view.
On Delia thinking will I stray,
Heedless, where I chuse the way,
Over distant hills and dales,
Bleating mountains, lowing vales;
By silent river, rolling flood,
Fringed meadow, waving wood,
Where Flora does her sweets dispense,
And different prospects please the sense.
While sturdy oxen, grazing nigh,
With loud lowings fill the sky;
And the swallow skims the ground,
And the lambkin bleateth round,
And many a cuckow's echoing note
Wavering to the ear doth float.
Such pleasing sounds and sights inspire
Glowing love and soft desire.
Sweet hour of pleasure! then, to chuse,
Breathe the soft strain, and court the muse,
Fairest Delia be my theme,
By some whispering, silver stream,
That thro' the painted meads doth stray,
And swiftly trickling winds away.
And when the sun, exalted high,
Fierce-glowing, measures half the sky;
Oft, oh! my Delia, will we rove
Along some close-embowred grove—
Oh! the soft joys that fill the breast!
(Joys, the sweetest and the best)
When, by all-powerful Love excited,
Each delighting, each delighted,
We sit within some thick-wove bower
Full fragrant made by many a flower!
With thrilling pleasure I the while
Eye the kind glance, or dimpling smile;
Or oft, in sweet suspension hung,
Catch the music of her tongue,
Else in sweet notes briskly moving,
Airy, fluttering, wild, and roving,
Thrice and four times, and again
Both chaunt to love the pleasing strain.
Or if the garden's flowery pride
Call our vagrant steps aside,
Here unnumber'd charms invite,
Roses red, and lillies white;
Here, 'mid blooming fragrance straying,
Sweetly smiling, fondly playing,
Oft my willing hands prepare
Odorous garlands for my Fair,
And mix, around the charmer's head,
The lilly's white, the rose's red:
While Love inspires each warbler's throat,
Smooths the strain, or swells the note,
All around, and all above,
All is Joy, for all is Love.

But when the cooling evening breeze
Moves gently the reluctant trees,
Then will we oft-times stray unseen
By winding walks of willows green,
And there the charms of music prove,
For music is the food of Love:
Inspiring oft the warbling flute,
Now with complaining strains that suit
The vexed thoughts and barbed care
Of fixed, sullen, deep despair;
Now more luxuriant strains employ,
Quickening Love, and brightening Joy;
Such as might the soul beguile,
And make disturbed sorrow smile;
Now the music varying floats,
Then stops: anon more still the notes,
Smooth and languid, soft and low,
Tender, trilling, sweet and slow,
Keep on the long-continued sound,
And charm attention all around.
Strait my breast hath caught new pleasures,
Throbs my pulse in fluttering measures,
Grief defeated and retiring,
Joys my raptur'd heart inspiring,
While my whole soul, devoid of care,
Hangs all-enamour'd on the fair,
And she, well-pleas'd, my looks surveys,
And plays and smiles, and smiles and plays.

When night's brown shades invite to rest,
And nature sinks by sleep opprest,
Then too, oh let me fond repair
To flowery meadows with my Fair,
Let mimic fancy paint her charms,
And bring my angel to my arms,
Let us together secret stray,
And all the night re-act the day.

Auspicious Goddess, fond and free,
Bestow these pleasures all on me,
(For sure these pleasures thou canst give)
And, Love, with thee I'll chuse to live.

[7:100-05]