Invocatio to Liberty and the Muses. Attempted in imitation of Milton's L'Allegro, Il Penseroso.

Salmon's Mercury or Entertaining Companion (28 April 1780) 303-04.


An imitation of Milton's L'Allegro, signed "Castalio, Bristol." The poet asks to be taken "Where content and peace are found, | Where harmony is heard to sound, | Where no interest blindly rules, | Drawn from avaricious schools, | Where the miser's never seen, | Where no corruptions intervene." Salmon's Mercury, a Bath publication, had slight pretensions to literature and Castalio, who published several items in this weekly paper, was a decidedly amateurish writer. His juvenile enthusiam for Shakespeare and Garrick is more apparent than his grasp of Milton. Part of the poem is cut away in the copy microfilmed.

Sweet Freedom come, and bring with thee
The noble goddess, Liberty
Open, airy, gen'rous, kind,
Whose persuasions never bind,
Lovely nymph of beauteous mold,
Aid me ev'ry grace t' unfold.
Fill my heart with all thy pow'r,
Lead me to thy splendid bow'r,
Where the Graces am'rous play,
Chearful as the smiling May,
Encircled by attendants fair,
The punishers of wrinkled care.
Summon here (sweet Liberty)
The lively fair, Euphrosyne,
She whom Milton nobly sung,
In sublimest strains, that hung
On the ear, 'till fancying thought
Was by harmonious measures caught
Amid melodious ravishment,
On the wings of rapture sent.
Next in order love appear,
Cupid, god of love draw near,
Liberty's fair shrine attend,
To her mansion swift ascend,
Bring with thee no lonely dart,
That enslaves a single heart,
Let thy arrows fly around,
And reciprocally wound,
Let not avarice intrude,
Ev'ry sordid view exclude,
The lawyer's theme, the miser's aim,
All that to gold pretensions claim;
But generosity arrive,
Keep humanity alive,
Humanity that shone so bright,
Diffusing all its radiant light
Thro' the dawning of the mind
By no niggard laws confin'd [....]

Dress my words in darkest sable;
But if a double-meaning fable
Claims my pen, as thro' a glass
Bedim'd we see bright Phoebus pass,
Thro' some opaque and shady sphere,
So let the moral faint appear,
No too obscure for weakest sight,
Nor glaring envy to excite,
Not to offend or anger any,
But gently to reprove the many,
Who in a gen'ral course to ill,
Run headlong down perdition's hill.
Hail Shakespear! noble Shakespear hail!
Thro' the wood and fertile dale
Echo his name in transport sweet,
That taught the passion how to beat
Immortal laurels crown his tomb,
'Till wrapt in solitary gloom
This faded pageant shall dissolve,
And ruin, monarchies involve!
Next echo sing his fav'rite son,
Who finish'd what our Bard begun,
Garrick, who pour'd to Shakespear's shrine
Libations of poetic wine,
He rais'd the soul by energy,
To the heights of tragedy,
There to soar on Shakespear's verse,
Form'd an adamant to pierce!
Who like him could paint a Lear,
When base ingratitude severe
Array'd in sharpest pangs controul,
And raise a tempest in the soul?
Richard in him gain'd high renown;
In him, great Shakespear's Hamlet shone!
Nor less in mirthful comic scenes,
He from the store of humour gleans,
And laughter, foe to rankled care,
He spreads aloft thro' Drury's sphere.
Which shook the dome with loud applause,
In Shakespear and in Garrick's cause!
"Haste thee nymph, and bring with thee,"
Love and cordiality,
Wit sparkling as the gen'rous vine,
Distributor of chearful wine,
Lofty of thought, by nature bred,
Thro' humour by politeness led,
No low conceits of vulgar birth,
A fix'd, a genuine, gen'rous mirth,
Waft the soul in melody
To thy realms O Liberty;
Fix my optic orbs of light,
On some ravishing delight,
Where content and peace are found,
Where harmony is heard to sound,
Where no interest blindly rules,
Drawn from avaricious schools,
Where the miser's never seen,
Where no corruptions intervene,
Where perjury's an utter stranger,
And innocence secure from danger,
Where bribery hath never dawn'd,
Nor spaniel like, false courtiers fawn'd—
If Liberty such joy can give,
With Liberty I mean to live.

[pp. 303-04]