1807
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Reflection.

American Mercury (22 October 1807).

Anonymous


A pastoral ballad in the manner of William Perfect, not signed, in nine anapestic quatrains. The theme is the autumn season, and the moral is drawn in the last stanza: "Thus infancy's pleasures regret, | But the fruits of those pleasures enjoy; | Does spring autumn's bounty beget? | So the Man is begun in the Boy." The American Mercury, a Hartford newspaper, reprints this poem from the Connecticut Herald.



The season of Flowers is fled,
The pride of the garden decay'd,
The sweets of the meadow are dead,
And the blushing parterre disarry'd.

The blossom-deck'd garb of sweet May,
Enamell'd with hues of delight,
Is exchang'd for a mantle less gay,
And spangled with colors less bright.

For sober Pomona has won
The frolicksome Flora's domains,
And the work the gay goddess begun,
The height of maturity gains.

But though less delightful to view
The charms of ripe autumn appear,
Than spring's richly varied hue,
That infantile age of the year.

Yet now, and now only, we prove
The uses by nature design'd;
The seasons were sanction'd to move,
To please less than profit mankind.

Regret the lost beauties of May,
But the fruits of those beauties enjoy!
The blushes that dawn with the day,
Noon's splendor will ever destroy.

How pleasing, how lovely appears
Sweet Infancy, sportive and gay!
Its praise, its smiles, and its tears,
Like spring, or the dawn of the day.

But manhood's the season design'd
For wisdom, for works, and for use;
To ripen the fruits of the mind,
Which the seeds sown in childhood produce.

Thus infancy's pleasures regret,
But the fruits of those pleasures enjoy;
Does spring autumn's bounty beget?
So the Man is begun in the Boy.

[unpaginated]