1780
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

An Anacreontic.

London Courant (3 August 1780).

Anonymous


An octosyllabice verse character, after Milton's L'Allegro, not signed: "Pleasure still the course attend, | Bring my mistress, wine, and friend: | For from these I ne'er can part, | These shall glad my dying heart." The poem sorts and amplifies Pleasure's attributes, analogues, and opposites.



Come thou rosy smiling health,
Far more lov'd than pomp or wealth;
Come, and grace the poet's strain,
Come with Pleasure in thy train!
From the busy world I fly,
Nor for grandeur heave a sigh;
Pleasure shall my Goddess be;
Rosy Health, she dwells with thee.
Chiefs renown'd in glorious war,
Sages of experience rare,
Busy sons of trade and noise,
Hence! and leave me to my joys.
What is glory? What is Fame?
Wisdom, what? — an empty name:
Be my brows with roses crown'd,
Pleasure, dancing in thy round!
Yet Excess be far away,
Thou art rosy Health's decay;
Pleasure thou can'st ne'er approve,
Pleasure still the soul of love.
Cyprian Goddess, fair and young,
Bring him with his golden darts,
Vanquishing, yet blessing hearts!
Fear, distrust, be far away!
Jaundic'd eyes that shun the day:
Love! Oh, let me dwell with thee,
Still from jealous Folly free!
Thus may varying seasons roll,
Free from every strict controul,
Till my later years advance,
Slowly in the mystic dance.
Let no churlish laws of age,
Ev'n declining life engage;
Vigorous, gay, and light as air,
May I yet defy Old Care.
Pleasure still the course attend,
Bring my mistress, wine, and friend:
For from these I ne'er can part,
These shall glad my dying heart.
Yet may innocence be there,
Mirth with her alone I share.
Well I know, though gay and free,
Pleasure, Virtue dwells with thee.

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