1776
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

May Day.

Town and Country Magazine 8 (May 1776) 271.

Anonymous


A sprightly lyric in four couplet stanzas in the mode of Milton's L'Allegro, not signed. If the seasons were a regular topic in Spenserian poetry, they were naturally also a regular topic in the periodicals, which in the later eighteenth century would sometimes mark the place in the calendar with poems, engravings, and essays appropriate to the season.



Hither, all ye Loves and Graces,
Hither with your smiling faces;
Frolic Mirth with aspect wild,
(Sweet Good-humour's lovely child)
Come and make the scene more gay,
Welcome in the sprightly May.

Hence, ah! Melancholy hence,
Nor thy baleful gloom dispense;
But hither haste ye jocund train,
Assemble on the verdant plain;
Come and chaunt a rural lay,
Welcome to the sprightly May.

Thalia come, thou laughing muse,
And thy gaiety diffuse;
Come, and with thy comic face,
Fill with pleasure every place;
Leave Parnassus for this day,
Welcome in the sprightly May.

Nymphs and swains, ye merry throng,
Charm the ear with rustic song;
Let music echo thro' the grove,
Softest notes of peace and love,
While the warblers on each spray,
Join the welcome to the May.

[p. 271]