1764
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Invitation.

Scots Magazine 26 (September 1764) 505.

Anonymous


Thirteen anapastic quatrains, not signed. The poet develops his carpe diem lyric by adapting lines from the Song of Solomon: "Awake then, my fair, and arise: | Behold, the bright sov'reign of day | Dispels the dun shade from the skies: | The morn is all shining and gay."

Headnote: "Monteith. Sir, An admiration of the tender simplicity of Mr. Shenstone's pastoral ballad, gave birth to the following essay. It was wrote some time ago; and by publishing at present, it may resemble a blossom scattered on the tomb of the departed shepherd. The blossom will soon decay; but 'Semper honos, nomenque eius, laudesque manebunt'" p. 505.



The east is irradiate with gold,
Now morning illumines the plain;
The swain leads his flock from the fold,
And carrols his amorous strain.

Awake then, my fair, and arise:
Behold, the bright sov'reign of day
Dispels the dun shade from the skies:
The morn is all shining and gay.

The trains and the tempests are past;
For Winter has fled from our vale;
And the grove, late by whirlwinds oppress'd,
Only waves the green leaf to the gale.

Now Summer, sweet-smiling and bland,
Diffuses her bounty around:
The blackbird is heard in our land,
And flowerets enamel the ground.

By the fountains, soft-warbling that flow,
We'll see how the daisies arise;
We'll mark the young violet blow,
And admire the auricula's dyes.

Not a flower that, reflected, is seen
To smile in the crystalline rill;
Not a shrub that adorneth the green,
Or diffuseth its sweets from the hill;

Not the rocks, hanging awful, around;
On the plain, not a shadowy tree;
Not a dew-drop that shines on the ground,
But still has some beauty — for thee.

And the swains of our valley declare,
On their lawns when thy footsteps are seen,
The flowers more delightful appear,
And the woods wear a pleasanter green.

And the downy-wing'd zephyrs that rest
On the wild roses dew-sprinkled bloom,
Ay flutter with joy to thy breast;
And there shed the softest perfume.

O'er the meadow, so fragrant and fair,
How the bee to each various flower
Still roves, with industrious care,
And collects her ambrosial store!

Here, Amanda, thy Virtue will say,
"Thus man should each season improve;
For time, like a thief, flies away."
Yes, Amanda: and so too says Love.

Haste away: Nor the rosy-lip'd morn,
Nor the blackbird, nor hum of the bee,
Nor the dew-sprinkled rose, nor the thorn,
Can please, lovely nymph, without thee.

Haste away: While we may, we'll enjoy
The pleasures we now have in store:
For Summer's sweet season will fly,
And the landscape will charm us no more.

[p. 505]