1774
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

To Health. An Idyllion.

Poems, chiefly Rural.

William Richardson


In this ode Glasgow's William Robertson varies a somewhat tired theme by exchanging octosyllabic quatrains for the usual Miltonic couplets: "Blythly dancing art thou seen | With the swains and silvan maids, | When along the lilied green | Eve her dewy mantle spreads" p. 33. Compare his "Hymn to Health."



Genial Health! that loves to dwell
Mid the rural wild retreat,
Where the balmy-breathing gale
Aye perfumes thy grassy seat:

Goddess of the enlivening smile,
On the cheek the roses glow,
And thy wining words beguile
Sorrow and the pangs of wo.

Ever on the upland lawn
Warblest thou the oaten reed,
When the rosy-featured dawn
Beams upon the yellow mead.

Blythly dancing art thou seen
With the swains and silvan maids,
When along the lilied green
Eve her dewy mantle spreads.

Goddess, from the flowery waste,
Hear a simple shepherd's prayer:
Hear our valley's fond request,
And to Phoebe's bower repair.

With thy lenient breezes come!
With the enlivening smile of joy!
O restore her fading bloom!
O relume her languid eye!

And I ween no vulgar meed
Shall reward thy guardian care,
If a shepherd's simple reed
Ever won thy listening ear.

[pp. 33-34]