1802
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Idyllium to Mirth.

St. James's Chronicle or British Evening Post (10 April 1802).

J. B.


A lyric imitation of MIlton's L'Allegro signed "J— B—." The misspelling of blithesome as "blightsome" in the third line bodes ill. Since the poet includes Virtue among the gifts bestowed by Mirth, one is a little puzzled by the sentiment expressed in the second paragraph: "If we look around we see | Crowds more wretched far than we, | Who, from poverty or pain, | Raise the sorrow-stricken strain. | Never let us then repine, | Whilst we share thy look benign." The St. James's Chronicle published poetry in almost every one of its twice-weekly numbers.



Haste thee Nymph, Contentment's child,
Offspring of a parent mild,
Blightsome Mirth, O come, advance,
Hither lead thy festive dance.
Let the graces of thy train,
Hither keep their cheerful reign:
Let them bring their flowing treasures,
Lasting joys, and soothing pleasures.
Spirits jocund as the May,
Ever sportive, ever gay;
Bring such sweet alluring wile,
Every unsuspicious smile,
Such as banish surly care,
Such as bid the passions, e'er
In the breast unalter'd flow,
Such as glow with chaste desire,
Purest Virtue, Fancy's fire,
These O give, and something more,
From thy ever golden store;
Give thy sweetness to the heart,
All its candour to impart;
Let it feel each ardent flame,
Lighted by sweet Friendship's name.
Let it taste, without alloy,
Every social virtuous joy;
Then every pleasure here on earth
Will to thy op'ning charms give birth.
Haste then, Nymph, unto my cell,
For with thee I mean to dwell;
Thou o'er me shalt ever sway,
Thee, O! thee, I will obey.
For why should I now gloomy be?
Life was surely made for me.

Since all trouble is defin'd,
But a frolick of the mind,
We shall find, where'er we go,
Comfort in each path doth flow.
If we look around we see
Crowds more wretched far than we,
Who, from poverty or pain,
Raise the sorrow-stricken strain.
Never let us then repine,
Whilst we share thy look benign;
For if to thee we give each care,
O Mirth, we never can despair.

Come then, goddess ever bright,
Fill each bosom with delight;
Let us, let us, e'er be free,
Courting thee and Jollity.
Ever now direct our will,
With thy sweet enchanting skill;
For if thou such joys can give,
Mirth, with thee I mean to live.

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