1759
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

A Summer's Morning.

Universal Chronicle, or Weekly Gazette 2 (5 May 1759) 138.

William Woty


An imitation of Collins's Ode to Evening by William Woty. The poet adjusts Collins's temporal frame from dusk to dawn, amplifying his theme with copious allusions to Milton's L'Allegro. The catalogue of birds is a lyric device suggesting a company of poets. The Pindaric eagle is absent is the list descends "From warbling Linnet, and melodious Thrush, | Down to the Sparrow chirping on the spray, | Down to the twitling Finch, | And emulative Wren." The poem is signed "J. Copywell, Lincoln's Inn."

James Kirkpatrick: "For the rest, (as our Bard makes no exception to friendly Criticism) it must be admitted, many of the poems in blank-verse are far from contemptible. Several Odes occur also without rhyme, in a different metre from our heroic; in which, tho' the diction and sentiments are very decent, there does not appear to be sufficient excellence to compensate for the absence of that jingle, which the ear is accustomed from habit to expect; and which our own language, and those of our different neighbours seem to require in such poetry, as is not of the first elevation and dignity" Review of Woty, Shrubs of Parnassus, Monthly Review 23 (July 1760) 67.



Now from the bed, where Morpheus, gentle God,
Drew round my shaded eyes his curtain soft,
Full early let me spring,
And offer up with thanks
The fervent incense of a grateful heart,
To him who sees the secrets of my breast.
Then let me roam a-field
And climb the eastern hill,
Where Health awaits me, walking to and fro,
With looks of joy — And See! she waves her wand:
I come with chearful soul,
O Mountain Nymph, I come.
Thanks to thee, Goddess. Thou hast touch'd my cheek,
And substituted a carnation there,
Which once was sicklied o'er
With hue, as primrose, pale:
But now it glows with animated warmth,
'Till by degrees it blushes to a rose.
As yet 'tis silence all,
Save where Aurora's bird
Awakes the slumb'ring peasant to his toil,
And bids good-morrow to the rising sun.
The rising sun puts on
His dazzling robe of gold,
And from caelestical chamber issuing forth,
Comes clad in glory, dancing all abroad.
Before him fly the clouds,
Astonish'd at his pow'r,
And from the bosom of the smiling mead,
Ascend the vapours. Then the rivers curl,
And all their borders shine
Beneath his glowing orb.
Now spangled o'er with drops of chrystal dew,
Shines ev'ry tree-top, ev'ry verdant bush:
Now springs the herald lark,
And flutters up the air,
Proclaims with gladness the return of light,
And calls up all his fellows of the wing.
His fellows of the wing
Awake, and join the song,
From warbling Linnet, and melodious Thrush,
Down to the Sparrow chirping on the spray,
Down to the twitling Finch,
And emulative Wren.
But hark! the Farmers whistle to their teams,
And yelping curs disturb Attention's ear.
The multitude are up,
And noisy hurry reigns.
The sons of Labour play their restless tools.
One undistinguishable sound prevails,
And scorching Phoebus flames
Intolerable day.
Sweet Morn, adieu! farewel thine early kiss,
Thy pleasing, odif'rous gales farewel!
'Till once more I have paid
My mattins to my God.

[p. 138]