1752
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ode.

London Magazine 21 (July 1752) 332.

Anonymous


An imitation of Milton's L'Allegro addressed to Love and all its attendants — a long list in this poem, which consists entirely of a catalogue of passions, postures, fancies, and virtues: "All ye who put our woes to flight; | All ye who minister delight; | Nods, and wreaths, and becks, and tips; | Meaning winks, and roguish trips; | Fond deceits, and kind surprises; | Sudden sinks, and sudden rises." The poem is not signed.

Richard Hurd: "Milton and Pope, if they have made but few poets, have made many imitators; so many, that we are ready to complain there is hardly an original poet left" On the Marks of Imitation (1757) 60.



Be gone, pursuits so vain and light;
Knowledge, fruitless of delight;
Lean study, sire of sallow doubt,
I put thy musing taper out:
For what has love to do with you?
For, lo, I go where beauty fires,
To satisfy my soul's desires;
Where love and gentle beauty calls:
For me she had adorn'd the room,
For me has shed a rich perfume:
Has she not prepar'd the tea?
The kettle boils — she waits for me.

I come, not single, but along
Youthful sports, a jolly throng!
Thoughtless joke, and infant-wiles;
Harmless wit, and virgin-smiles;
Tender words, and kind intent;
Languish fond, and blandishment;
Yielding curtsey, whisper low;
Silken blush, with cheeks that glow;
Chaste desires, and wishes meet;
Thin-clad hope, a footman fleet;
Modesty, that turns aside,
And backward strives her form to hide;
Healthful mirth, still gay and young,
And meekness with a maiden's tongue;
Satire, by good-humour dress'd
In a many-colour'd vest:
Now come then boy of kind delight,
Attendant on the lover's night,
Fair his ivory shuttle flies
Thro' the bright threads of mingling dies,
As swift his rosy fingers move
To knit the silken cords of love;
And stop, who softly-stealing goes,
Occasion, high on her tiptoes,
Whom youth with watchful look espies,
To seize the forelock ere she flies,
Ere he her bald-pate shall survey,
And well-ply'd heels to run away.

But, anxious care, be far from hence;
Vain surmise, and alter'd sense;
Mishapen doubts, the woes they bring;
And jealousy, of fiercest sting;
Despair, that solitary stands,
And wrings a halter in his hands;
Flatt'ry false and hollow sound,
And dread, with eye still looking round;
Avarice, bending under pelf;
Conceit, still gazing on herself:
O love! exclude high-crested pride,
Nymph of Amazonian stride:
Nor in these walls, like waiting maid,
Be curiosity survey'd,
That to the key-hole lays her ear,
List'ning at the door to hear;
Nor father Time, unless he's found
In triumph led by beauty's bound,
Forc'd to yield to vigour's stroke,
His blunted scythe and hour-glass broke.

But come, all ye who know to please;
Inviting glance, and downy ease;
The heart-born joy, the gentle care;
Soft-breath'd wish, and powers of prayer;
The single vow, that means no ill;
Believing quiet, submissive will;
Constancy of meekest mind,
That suffers long, and still is kind;
All ye who put our woes to flight;
All ye who minister delight;
Nods, and wreaths, and becks, and tips;
Meaning winks, and roguish trips;
Fond deceits, and kind surprises;
Sudden sinks, and sudden rises;
Laughs, and toys, and gamesome sights;
Jolly dance, and girds, and flights:
Then, to make me wholly blest,
Let me be there a welcome guest.

[p. 332]