1787
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Adieu and Recall to Love.

The World, Fashionable Advertiser (29 July 1787).

Robert Merry


"Della Crusca's" "Adieu and Recall to Love" provoked answering verses from "Anna Matilda" (Hannah Cowley) in the pages of the World, thus beginning the correspondence that launched Della Cruscan poetry (Merry had not previously used his famous pseudonym). In 1788 the correspondence was transferred from newspaper to anthology, where it formed the core of The Poetry of the World, which was itself reprinted several times.



Go, idle Boy! I quit thy pow'r;
Thy couch of many a thorn, and flow'r;
Thy twanging bow, thine arrow keen,
Deceitful Beauty's timid mien;
The feign'd surprize, the roguish leer,
The tender smile, the thrilling tear,
Have now no pangs, no joys for me,
So fare thee well, for I am free!
Then flutter hence on wanton wing,
Or lave thee in yon lucid spring,
Or take thy bev'rage from the rose,
Or on Louisa's breast repose:
I wish thee well for pleasures past,
Yet bless that hour, I'm free at last.

But sure, methinks, the alter'd day
Scatters around a mournful ray;
And chilling ev'ry zephyr blows,
And ev'ry stream untuneful flows;
No rapture swells the linnet's voice,
No more the vocal groves rejoice;
And e'en thy song, sweet Bird of Eve!
With whom I lov'd so oft to grieve,
Now scarce regarded meets my ear,
Unanswer'd by a sigh or tear.
No more with devious step I choose
To brush the mountain's morning dews;
To drink the spirit of the breeze,
Or wander midst o'er-arching trees;
Or woo with undisturb'd delight,
The pale-cheek'd Virgin of the Night,
That piercing thro' the leafy bow'r,
Throws on the ground a silv'ry show'r.
Alas! is all this boasted ease,
To lose each warm desire to please,
No sweet solicitude to know
For others bliss, for others woe,
A frozen apathy to find,
A sad vacuity of mind?
O hasten back, then, idle Boy,
And with thine anguish bring the joy!
Return with all thy torments here,
And let me hope, and doubt, and fear.
O rend my heart with ev'ry pain!
But let me, let me love again.

[Poetry of the World (1788) 1:1-2]