“The Beauties of the Spring”
Hail happy Shades, and hail thou cheerful Plain,
Where Peace and Pleasure unmolested reign;
And the cool Rivers murmur as they flow:
See yellow Crowfoots deck the gaudy Hills, 5
While the faint Primrose loves the purling Rills:
Sagacious Bees their Labours now renew,
Hum round the Blossoms, and extract their Dew:
In their Liv’ries the green Woods appear,
And smiling Nature decks the Infant Year; 10
See yon proud Elm that shines in borrow’d Charms,
While the curl’d Woodbines deck her aged Arms.
When the streak’d East receives a lighter Gray,
And Larks prepare to meet the early Day;
Through the glad bowers the shrill Anthems run, 15
While the Groves glitter to the rising Sun:
Then Phillis hastens to her darling Cow,
Whose shining Tresses wanton on her Brow,
While to her Cheek enliv’ning Colours fly,
And Health and Pleasure sparkle in her Eye. 20
Unspoil’d by Riches, nor with Knowledge vain,
Contented Cymon whistles o’er the Plain;
His Flock dismisses from the nightly Fold,
Observes their Health, and fees their Number told.
Pleas’d with its Being, see the nimble Fawn 25
Sports in the Grove, or wantons o’er the Lawn,
While the pleas’d Coursers frolick out the Day,
And the dull Ox affects unwieldy Play.
Then haste, my Friend, to yonder Sylvan Bowers,
Where Peace and Silence crown the blissful Hours; 30
In those still Groves no martial Clamours sound;
No streaming Purple stains the guiltless Ground;
But fairer Scenes our ravish’d Eyes employ,
Give a soft Pleasure, and quiet Joy;
Grief flies from hence, and wasting Cares subside, 35
While wing’d with Mirth the laughing Minutes glide.
See, my fair Friend, the painted Shrubs are gay,
And round thy Head ambrosial Odours play;
At Sight of thee the swelling Buds expand,
And op’ning Roses seem to court thy Hand; 40
Hark, the shrill Linnet charms the distant Plain,
And Philomel replies with softer Strain;
See those bright Lilies shine with milky Hue,
And those Fair Cowslips drop with balmy Dew;
To thee, my fair, the cheerful Linnet sings, 45
And Philomela warbles o’er the Springs;
For thee those Lilies paint the fertile Ground,
And those fair Cowslips are with Nectar crown’d;
Here let us rest to shun the scorching Ray,
While curling Zephyrs in the Branches play. 50
In these calm Shades no ghastly Woe appears,
No Cries of Wretches stun our frighted Ears;
Here no gloss’d Hate, no sainted Wolves are seen,
Nor busy Faces throng the peaceful Green;
But Fear and Sorrow leave the careful Breast, 55
And the glad Soul sinks happily to Rest.
5 Crowfoot “A name for various species of Ranunculus or Buttercup” (OED).
6 Primrose “An early flowering European primula” (OED).
11 yon “A demonstrative word used in concord with a noun to indicate a person or thing” (OED).
12 Woodbines Name for a climbing plant.
14 Larks “A name generally used for any bird in the family of alaudidae” (OED).
18 Tresses Braids on a woman.
22 Cymon A swain, or young man.
25 nimble Quick.
27 Coursers Horses.
29 Sylvan “Consisting of or formed by woods or trees” (OED).
32 Purple A reference to blood.
42 Philomel “A poetic/literary name for the nightingale” (OED).
50 Zephyrs God of the west wind.
Source: Poems Upon Several Occasions (London, 1748), p. 15. [Google Books]
Edited by Samantha Yankiling