1785
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

On May.

Universal Magazine 76 (May 1785) 270.

Charles Graham


A hymn to the vernal season in six anapestic quatrains signed "Charles Graham. Penrith." Graham, a north-country provincial poet, contrasts the polyanthus and auricula that "flaunt it in air" to more humble flowers that grow in the wild: "The dark-purpled vi'let more charms can dispense, | Whilst blended luxuriant the clover among; | Shall bloom thro' the season and ravish the sense, | When the garden's frail flow'rets shall live but in song." The following month Graham would contribute an "Ode to June" in an octosyllabic variation of the Prior stanza.



Again, lovely Maia, fair daughter of Spring!
Revisit the isle where the Muses resort;
The milkmaid and ploughman delightfully sing,
Nor envy the sycophants cringing at court.

See how the pale primroses chequer the ground,
While myriads of daisies promiscuously blow;
The cowslips now shed their sweet odours around,
Or bloom 'neath the hedge where the hazel-trees grow.

There's nought in the garden, tho' cultur'd with care,
Can with these in the charms of simplicity vie;
The fam'd polyanthus may flaunt it in air,
And let the auricula pleasure the eye;

The dark-purpled vi'let more charms can dispense,
Whilst blended luxuriant the clover among;
Shall bloom thro' the season and ravish the sense,
When the garden's frail flow'rets shall live but in song.

All nature seems jocund, the birds on each spray
In kind emulation now lengthen their notes;
The blackbird pours out his mellifluous lay,
While the lark and the linnet are straining their throats.

O! hail lovely Maia! that lead'st the young hours,
To sport in the shades, and real'st them with song;
Meantime shall the Naiads embellish thy bowers,
Till Juno, bright goddess! brings summer along.

[p. 270]