1774
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

To Mirth. An Idyllion.

Poems, chiefly Rural.

William Richardson


An allegorical ode, after Milton's L'Allegro: "Come, inspire the festive strain; | Come with all thy happy train, | Jovial Sports, alluring Wiles, | Laughter, and the dimpling Smiles." William Richardson had graduated from Glasgow University in 1763, and it may be that some of his poems were written a decade or more prior to publication in 1774.



Haste thee, Mirth, enlivening power,
Parent of the genial hour,
Sportive god, without delay
Animate our festal day.
Here, where dewy roses glow,
And the hawthorn blossoms blow,
And the lively linnets sing,
Wave thy pleasure-breathing wing.
Come, inspire the festive strain;
Come with all thy happy train,
Jovial Sports, alluring Wiles,
Laughter, and the dimpling Smiles.
Leave a while the Paphian grove,
For the radiant Queen of Love,
Ever gentle, ever gay,
Hither graceful wins her way.
See, how lovely she appears!
Ino's form the goddess wears,
With her unaffected ease,
And her native power to please,
And her sweetly-pensive air,
And her smiles that banish care.
Hark! from every vocal grove,
Shepherds swell the raptured song,
"Who is she that moves along?
Ino? or the Queen of Love?"

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