1786
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Acasto to Thyrsis, a Pastoral. Addressed to his Royal Highness, George Prince of Wales.

St. James's Chronicle (12 August 1786).

William Meyler


A pastoral ballad in six anapestic quatrains "By Mr. Meyler, Bookseller, in the Grove, Bath" and is dated "Bath, August 12, 1786." The poem is a verse character of the Prince of Wales ("Thyrsis"), a somewhat wayward youth: "The Old and the Prudish repin'd | The Heir of their Lord was so wild; | But those who well knew him could find | He candid was, courteous, and mild." Upon the death of his father Acasto, Thyrsis proves a worthy successor. The poet, formerly a member of the Bath-Easton circle, was a good friend of Richard Graves.



Young Thyrsis, the thoughtless and gay,
Was first at each Revel and Sport;
He frolick'd most jocund the Day,
At Eve to each Nymph paid his Court.

Wherever a Pastime, or Show,
Caus'd Pleasure's gay Circle to meet,
Young Thyrsis was certain to go—
His Presence gave Zest to the Treat.

The Sports of the Chase and the Field
Afforded to Thyrsis Delight;
The Joys that sweet Musick can yield
Crown'd often with Rapture his Night.

The Old and the Prudish repin'd
The Heir of their Lord was so wild;
But those who well knew him could find
He candid was, courteous, and mild.

At Length good Acasto, his Sire,
Met Time — who had Charge of his Doom;
The Shepherds all wept, and each Lyre
Tun'd mournfully over his Tomb.

Now Thyrsis is Lord of the Dale,
And throws all his Foibles aside;
His Actions his Goodness reveal;
The Villager's Patron and Pride!

Acasto's good Deeds, and mild Worth,
As Brilliant in Thyrsis appear;
So Britain! in Time will burst forth
The Virtues of George in his Heir.

[unpaginated]