1794
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ode to a Temperate Morning in January.

European Magazine 26 (September 1794) 213.

Dr. William Perfect


A description of a wintry sunrise, with a moral applied. The poem imitates the sunset as described in Collins's Ode to Evening, and perhaps such passages in Spenserian poetry generally. It is signed "Dr. Perfect." Dr. Perfect met Christopher Smart, very likely in his professional capacity, and described him as "a man of much cultivated genius and poetical talent — unhappily lost almost as soon as known to the author" European Magazine 25 (Janury 1794) 54n. He was a frequent contributor to the poetry column of the European Magazine at this era.

Samuel Austin Allibone: "William Perfect, M.D., of Kent, published Annals of Insanity, 2d ed., 1801, 8vo; five other vols. on Insanity, 1778-91; Cases of Midwifery, new ed., 1789, 2 vols, 8vo; and Poetic Effusions, 1796, 8vo." Critical Dictionary of English Literature (1858-71; 1882) 2:1563.



Hail mild-ey'd morn, for thou art soft and fair
As breaks upon the bosom of the day,
Where the blue violet bears
Her bosom to the breeze.

Come, and the light-wing'd spring shall drop a smile,
Sweet Premature! nurs'd on old Winter's breast,
Shall lift her blue-soft eye,
And wanton in the beam.

Lamp of the wintry world, thou Heav'n-lit Sun,
Oh! haste and woo the young reluctant maid,
And bid her humid lip
Drop with the ripen'd balm.

Come chaste-ey'd God while yet the ice-hung clouds
Around thy throne in wintry glory ride,
The Virgin loves thy flight
While yet its blaze is dimm'd.

For soon, where glowing with the ardent fire
Of strong-soul'd passion, lo the seraph mind
Shrinks from the solar noon,
Gathers the sweets, and flies.

Propitious morn, my melancholy muse
Drops her cold tear upon the bloomless earth,
Reflecting man like thee
May totter to his tomb.

Yet even when Summer's flushing cheek was full,
I've seen the pale rose wither on her thorn,
And shrink, like injur'd worth
From sullen scornful pride.

[p. 213]