1788
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Autumn.

European Magazine 14 (December 1788) 473.

G. C.


An agreeable if not very sophisticated imitation of Milton's L'Allegro singing the praises of the harvest and the hunt. The verses are signed "G. C."

Roy Benjamin Clark: "The European Magazine was the best repository for contemporary verse that was found. Since it printed, apparently indiscriminately, the poetry of a host of pseudonymous and other writers; and since it gave considerable space to the Della Cruscan group and made no mention of whatever of Gifford's satires, it may be taken as a fair indicator of the popularity of these writers, and the period of time in which they wrote. It shows the Della Cruscan rage to have been at its height in 1788. After that year the names of Della Crusca and Anna Matilda rarely appear" William Gifford, Tory Satirist (1930) 69-70.



Hence! sultry Summer! hence
Thou nurse of lassitude and indolence!
Nor beam on me again thy fervid ray;
Nor to my fainting limbs convey
Thy soft enfeebling influence;
But come thou season fresh and clear,
Loveliest of the waning year,
Luxuriant Autumn! whom to greet
Every rural charm doth meet.
Nature owns thy sovereign pow'r,
Rip'ning grain, and fruit, and flow'r,
No longer is the Sylvan scene
Rob'd in one unvaried green;
A lovlier prospect I behold,
Where every leaf is ting'd with gold.

No more doth sultry Silence reign
Mistress of the scorched plain;
No more the murmuring rill doth glide
Through sedges high, which almost hide
The puny stream from heedless view;
For now its current swells anew,
And all its wonted strength regains,
And proudly winds to distant plains.

The plenteous harvest now is in,
And labour doth again begin;
The joyous sounds salute my ear,
In cadence musical and clear.
Where the ploughman's annual toil
For future crops prepares the soil;
Or where the flail's incessant din
Echoes from the barn within.
The teeming orchards now repay
The hope of many a former day.
The pound receives the rich produce,
And streams with the delicious juice;
While many a dainty apple laid
In snug recess, (on purpose made)
Still rip'ning rests, — securely stor'd,
Till call'd to deck the Winter's board.

Now too the rural sports dispense
Their health-inspiring influence:
Slighting all the charms of sleep,
I rise ere ruddy Sol doth peep;
(When every thing is fresh and fair,
Breath'd on by the morning air;)
And o'er diversity of ground
Elate and brisk I range around,
With staunch and careful dogs to try
For the covey as they lie:
Or with nimble hound and horn,
I mount my steed, and meet the morn;
Unwind the hare's intricate maze,
Or else pursue in eager chase
The brushing fox, or lofty deer,
Quite transported and hear
The musick of the harmonious pack,
From every valley echo'd back.

Then when evening spreads its gloom,
Fatigu'd I seek my chearful room;
And there with chosen friends a few,
The passions of the day renew;
Till gentle sleep its balm bestows,
And lulls me into soft repose.
Those delights, Sweet Autumn give,
And I thy votary will live.

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