1823
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

To Anna. — Wishes.

Poems by James Hyslop ... with a Sketch of his Life, and Notes on his Poems, by the Rev. Peter Mearns.

James Hyslop


Two Spenserians. "From the MS. book (page 115). The date is 'Rio, 27th July, 1823.' 'Thy coming days' seems a slip for 'my coming days'" Poems, ed. Mearns (1887) 120.

Peter Mearns: "He went to Greenock, in the end of 1818, in the hope of improving his circumstances in a pecuniary point of view, and thus recommending himself to a young woman whose social position was superior to his own, and for whom he had entertained a sincere and strong affection for several years. He calls her 'Lydia,' and 'Annie,' in his love songs, but her real name was Susan. It was believed that their affection was mutual, and she remained unmarried while he lived; but after his early death she became the wife of another" Life, in Hyslop, Poems (1887) 37.



O could I waft my heart's sincerest wish
Over the dark blue waters of the sea!
Life's purest springs of happiness would gush
With overflowing fountains upon thee;
Thy cloudless mind, from care and sorrow free,
Should bask in young love's purest, sunniest rays,
In thy heart's dearest sweet society
Would pass in pleasure all thy coming days,
Amidst the woods and streams of thy dear native braes.

And dreams of youth would all be realis'd;
Thy early choice should be thy country's pride;
Thy songs of love, by youths and maidens priz'd.
Should gain him fame, and thou shouldst be his bride.
His sweet poetic maiden by his side,
With beating heart should hear her love's renown,
And wreaths of brightest poetry be tied
By her young minstrel, midst the ringlets brown,
That slept upon his breast, and shared his laurel crown.

[pp. 229-30]