1783
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Address to Meditation.

London Magazine NS 1 (August 1783) 130.

Y.


A rather truncated imitation of Il Penseroso, signed "Y." The poet invokes the nymph Meditation, recalls how she had once walked with Wisdom, describes a contemplative landscape, and parks himself beneath an aged oak: "The oak with venerable shade | Shelter'd the musing druid hoar; | By those alluring notes of woe, | That, while the tears of pity flow, | The soul with pensive pleasures bless, | Admit me to thy calm recess." Some alternating rhymes are introduced among the five stanzas of octosyllabic lines.



No more by stormy passion tost,
On disappointment's rugged coast,
My weary soul returns to rest:
Too long th' impatient rover stray'd
And gentle peace too long delay'd
To smile on my distracted breast.
O Solitude, conduct my feet,
To that unenvied calm retreat,
Where Meditation, nymph serene,
Dwells in the woodland wild unseen.

Thou lover of the lonely vale,
Thou meek-ey'd Meditation hail!
With thee, mild spirit, let my stay;
And listen to thy converse pure;
While no intrusive thoughts allure
My footstep from thy pensive way.
O, may thy native charms impart
Rapture to my consenting heart:
And guide my inexperienc'd youth,
To Wisdom, elder-born of Truth.

Cloth'd in the raiment of the sky,
When Wisdom left her throne on high,
To sojourn for a time below:
And with exhilarating rays,
Detected Error's flowery maze,
That leads to the abyss of woe;
With thee, in vale or woody glade,
The holy stranger often stray'd;
And, listening to thy placid lore,
Improv'd her beatific store.

Often as Cynthia's virgin light
Illumes the gloomy void of night,
What time her silver-axel'd car
Rolls smoothly on the floor of heav'n;
Or when the sober-suited seven
Unmantles her attending star;
Remote from noise, and folly's child,
Loud Riot; in thy woodland wild,
Some chosen sister of the nine
Deals thee her melody divine.

Invok'd by ev'ry solemn strain,
That flow'd on Mona's hallow'd plain,
Or by the Menai's mystic shore
Where, blending from the cavern'd glade,
The oak with venerable shade
Shelter'd the musing druid hoar;
By those alluring notes of woe,
That, while the tears of pity flow,
The soul with pensive pleasures bless,
Admit me to thy calm recess.

[p. 130]