1763
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

An Ode, wrote a few Days before the long Vacation, MDCCLXIII.

The Poetical Calendar. Containing a Collection of scarce and valuable Pieces of Poetry: with Variety of Originals and Translations, by the most eminent Hands. Intended as a Supplement to Mr. Dodsley's Collection. 12 vols [Francis Fawkes and William Woty, eds.]

C. T. Hartis


An imitation of Milton's L'Allegro by a Cambridge undergraduate: "Farewell then, thou willow'd stream, | Glittering bright with wisdom's beam, | Silver Cam!" This topic had previously been treated in Miltonic verse by Thomas Warton in Ode on the Approach of Summer (1753), and in Robert Potter's notable Spenser imitation, A Farewell Hymne to the Country (1749). The name of C. T. Hartis does not appear among the lists of Cambridge or Oxford students.

These lines were reprinted without signature as "Ode to Mirth" in the Morning Herald and Daily Advertiser, 19 July 1782, and the Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser (1 August 1782).



Come, thou laughter-loving power,
Goddess of the festive hour,
Blue-eyed Mirth, and bring along
Gamesome Sport, and jocund Song.
Wit with native Humour warm,
Conversation's lively charm,
And yet more, to ope the soul,
Bring, O bring the jovial bowl;
Let us lift the gladsome shout,
Let us wake the midnight rout,
Briskly let us all advance
In the sprightly-woven dance;
Every deed on every side
Let the soul of rapture guide:
Care begone! and Grief adieu!
What have ye with Joy to do?
And thou too, that lov'st to dwell
Musing in the pensive cell,
Heavenly queen of piercing eye,
Farewell, sweet Philosophy!
What if thou, with hermit-look,
From retirement's farthest nook,
Mark'st the world, in bustling show,
Struggling o'er the waves of woe,
By the wind of black Despair
Dash'd away from care to care,
Whilst thou, calm on safety's shore,
Dost but hear the tempest roar.
What if thou the flowery pride
Of the meadow's velvet side,
To the proudly-arching bower,
And the glittering court of power,
Can'st prefer; we envy not,
Holy seer, thy simple lot.
Sisters twin are Youth and Pleasure,
Meant t' enjoy the sweets of leisure,
Made for every blithsome sport,
Purpose mild, and gay resort.
Age was form'd for meditation,
Not the toys of recreation,
With the smiles of wisdom fraught,
And the glow of solemn thought;
Such is Age, Philosophy,
Such the mind that suits with thee.

But now joys of different kind
Wing the wish, and fire the mind;
Tumbling rills that warbling flow,
Yellow meads with gold that glow,
Wandering walks, and rural ease,
Such alone have power to please:
Or perchance the lucid scene,
Where the rays of beauty's mien,
Kindling every fond desire,
Set the soul of Love on fire:
Or the loudly-echoing horn,
As it cheers the slumbering morn,
Waking nature, haply may
Lure us to the chace away.

Farewell then, thou willow'd stream,
Glittering bright with wisdom's beam,
Silver Cam! whose bowers among
Inspiration leads her throng,
Clio breathes celestial fire,
Music hangs her dulcet lyre,
Yet farewell! — To brighter joys
Pleasure lifts our wandering eyes,
With her own resistless smile
She shall smooth each care awhile;
Yes, she, fair queen, shall all the mind possess,
With gladness fire it, and with rapture bless.

[7:106-08]