1818
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Spring, a Pastoral Poem.

La Belle Assemblee NS18 (July 1818) 36.

Sangrado


A pastoral lyric in eight double-quatrain stanzas, signed "Sangrado." This descriptive ode consists almost entirely of birds and flowers, with a vestigial pastoral ballad sentiment inserted near the close: "The bless'd renovation enjoy | In the sylvan secluded retreat; | For grandeur your peace will annoy— | Content's not in luxury's seat." In form and matter this poem is closely modeled on the anapestic verses of William Perfect that had appeared in the Gentleman's Magazine and elsewhere thirty years earlier. Much of the verse in La Belle Assemblee was reprinted, so much so that its poetry column of this era was entitled "Fugitive Poetry."



Stern winter no longer prevails,
With its raging ferocity wild;
The snow fills no longer the vales,
But the scene is all placid and mild;
The winds all their fury assuage,
The tempest's loud blast is no more,
No longer shall youth and old age
The raging of winter deplore.

'Tis spring that now visits the plain,
The east brightens wide with the dawn;
See Flora, the head of her train,
In the midst of the dance on the lawn.
All hail, thou fair emblem of love!
That has in the superlative state,
Clad in green the umbrageous grove,
And with gladness the earth doth elate.

The shepherds their flocks now release
At the rise of the lark from her nest;
They browse the high steep in calm peace,
For envy's unknown to their breast.
The lambs sport around the green mead,
To Pallas's soft flowing strains;
And Pan, with his musical reed,
Of spring the existence proclaims.

Aurora breaks forth from the skies,
In splendour amazingly bright;
The cock bids the peasants arise,
And to labour the rustics invite:
The lark from her pillow ascends,
Serenades the renewal of light;
To the sky she high towering bends,
And is enveloped now from sight.

The thrush hails the morning's first beam,
Swells her throat with the music of love;
And the notes of the birds near the stream,
Resounds from the dell through the grove.
All the feather'd musicians of spring,
The delights of the morning enjoy;
May they to maturity bring,
And no evil their broodlings annoy.

New beauties emerge from the lands,
The profusions of Flora behold!
How the tulip her colours expands,
And lily of white and of gold.
The primrose adorns the gay mead,
And the violet appears in the dale;
O'er the pasture the cowslips are spread,
To lavish their sweets on the gale.

The rose, royal queen of perfume,
Its beauteous vermilion displays;
And the suckle and lilac in bloom,
Deserve a just tribute of praise.
The bless'd renovation enjoy
In the sylvan secluded retreat;
For grandeur your peace will annoy—
Content's not in luxury's seat.

But, hark! at the sound of the bells
From the hamlet that stands near the grove;
'Tis there the young Clerimont dwells,
Who's just wedded to Delia his love.
Ye shepherds your garlands prepare;
Convene all your musical powers;
Ye belles to the hamlet declare,
That mirth the most jovial is ours.

[p. 36]