1776
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Garland. To Delia.

Weekly Magazine or Edinburgh Amusement 31 (February 1776) 305.

Alexis


Five double-quatrains stanzas signed "Alexis, Banks of the Tay, Feb. 1776." The poet complains of his absent love: "But thriftless the garland was wove; | The flow'rets they blossom'd in vain; | Since absent the maid whom we love, | Since Delia has quitted the plain." However, he holds out the hope that Delia will return with the Spring.



One ev'ning reclin'd in the bow'r,
Where woodbines and willows entwine,
I plaited a wreath of each flow'r,
And said the fair garland was thine.
The pink, and the lily, and rose,
To heighten their tints, how they strove!
But they never could emulate those
That are painted by beauty and love.

To deck that fair bosom, how fine,
And how sweet would their blossoms appear!
I would call all their fragrance divine,
But the charms of their owner — how dear!
Or to bloom in her tresses so gay,
Other flow'rets would envy them there;
In beauty to flaunt it all day,
And to grace the soft smiles of the fair.

But thriftless the garland was wove;
The flow'rets they blossom'd in vain;
Since absent the maid whom we love,
Since Delia has quitted the plain:
Yet hope fondly sought to adorn
The landscape in raptures it drew,
I thought she would quickly return,
"So sweetly she bade us adieu!"

But summer, with all her mild train,
Is gone, with the smiles of the year;
Rich autumn has finish'd his reign,
And — the charmer has fail'd to appear.
To the jessamine bow'r I repair,
But nature her gifts has denied;
The flow'rets I wove for the fair
Have shrunk up their foliage, and — dy'd.

Now winter discolours the year,
The meadows and fields please no more,
No flow'rs in our garden appear,
In the garden that charm'd us before:
But, the Shepherdess! should she return,
And re-visit the snow-cover'd plain,
Soft spring would the landscape adorn,
And the garland would blossom again.

[p. 305]