Mary Masters, “To the Sun, in a cold dry Season”


“To the Sun, in a cold dry Season”


PARENT of Light, whose ever-shining Ray,
Quickens the Globe, and kindles up the Day:
Collect thy Force, the Ardors all prepare,
To mitigate and warm the frigid Air:
Send forth, bright Prince, a more extensive Glow,                                      5
And let us feel thy chearing Pow’rs below.
Let humid Vapours leave their native Streams,
Exhal’d from thence by thy attracting Beams;
In rising Mists our Ev’ning Walks attend,
And kindly on the soft’ning Earth descend.                                                  10
Or else, invisibly expanding, rise
Mix into Clouds, and float along the Skies;
There all the Day in bright Suspension stay’d,
And beautiful by thy Reflection made;
Border’d with Gold, or ting’d with purple Hue,                                            15
Like rich Embossings on a Ground of Blue,
To the pleas’d Eye present a gaudy Scene,
Whilst the pure AEther heav’nly looks between.
Let nightly Show’rs refresh the thirsty Earth,
And daily Fervors give her Plants a Birth:                                                       20
Beneath our Feet the flow’ry Buds shall spring,
And on each side the wing’d Musicians sing:
Th’ indulgent Skies shall bless the Peasant’s Toil,
Call forth rich Crops, and make all Nature smile.

Then shall MECENAS grace his rural Seat,                                                     25
Healthful and happy in a warm Retreat:
The neighbouring Towns by his dear Presence blest,
Shall hail and welcome the illustrious Guest:
MARIA too the general Joy will share,
Applaud his Merit, and divide his Care:                                                         30
For like thy Beams, his gen’rous Virtues spread,
And shine benignant on the humble Head.


3 Ardors “Fierce or burning heat” (OED).

16 Embossings “To adorn with figures or other ornamentation in relief” (OED).

18 AEther “The clear sky; the upper regions of space beyond the clouds” (OED).

20 Fervors “Glowing condition, intense heat” (OED).

25 MECENAS Gaius Cilnius Maecenas (c.70 BC-c. 8 BC), Roman politician, counselor to the emperor Augustus, and wealthy patron of such poets as Virgil and Horace. His name became synonymous with ideal literary patronage by the eighteenth century (Encyclopedia Britannica).

29 MARIA Masters’s poetic name for herself.

32 benignant “Cherishing or exhibiting kindly feeling towards inferiors or dependants; gracious, benevolent (with some suggestion of condescension or patronage)” (OED).

 Source:  Poems on Several Occasions, (London 1733), pp. 52-54.  [Hathi Trust]

 Edited by Veronica Jardeleza

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