[Rev. Henry Harington the Younger], “The Hermite’s Addresse to Youth”




Say, gentle youth, that tread’st untouch’d with care,
Where nature hath so guerdon’d Bathe’s gay scene;
Fedde with the songe that daunceth in the aire;
Midst faireste wealth of Flora’s Magazine;
Hathe eye or eare yet founde thine steppes to blesse,                                              5
That gem of life, yclep’d True Happiness?

With beautie restes she not; – nor woos to lighte
Her hallow’d taper at proud honour’s flame;
Nor Circe’s cuppe doth crown; nor come in flighte
Upon th’ Icarian wing of bablinge fame;                                                                                10
Not shrine of golde dothe this fair sainte embower,
She glides from Heav’n, but not in Danae’s shower.

Go blossome, wanton in suche joyous aire,
But ah! – eft soone thy buxome blaste is o’er!
When the sleek pate shall grow far ‘bove its haire,                                                               15
And creeping age shall reape this piteous lore;
To broode o’re follie, and with me confesse,
“Earthe’s flattringe dainties prove but sweete distresse.”


 Author Rev. Henry Harington the Younger “This poem was popular enough to be twice reprinted in the Gentleman’s Magazine and elsewhere before appearing in the Monthly Magazine as late as 1822. It was reprinted in Pearch’s Supplement to Dodsley’s Collection (1770) with two poems from the Nugae Antiquae (1769) edited by…Henry Harington the Younger. They are all in the same stanza, and were likely composed by the young Harington, or by his father” (Radcliffe, English Poetry 1579-1830: Spenser and the Tradition).

2 guerdon’d “To reward, recompense” (OED); Bathe The resort city of Bath, famous for its natural beauty and social scene.

3 Fedde “Fed” (OED).

4 Flora’s Magazine A reference to the natural world. “Flora” was the Roman Goddess of flowers and spring, and “magazine” is “a place where goods are kept in store; a storehouse for goods or merchandise; a warehouse or depot” (OED).

6 yclep’d “Called” (OED).

9 Circe “In Greek legend, a sorceress, the daughter of Helios, the sun god, and of the ocean nymph Perse” (Encyclopaedia Britannica).

10 Icarian “Of, pertaining to, or characteristic of Icarus, fabled, in escaping from Crete, to have flown so high that the sun melted the wax with which his artificial wings were fastened on, so that he fell into the Aegean sea: hence, applied to ambitious or presumptuous acts which end in failure or ruin” (OED).

12 Danae’s shower “In Greek legend, the daughter of Acrisius, king of Argos. After an oracle warned her father that she would bear a son by whom he would be slain he confined Danae in a tower. Zeus visited her in the form of a shower of gold, and she gave birth to Perseus” (Britannica Concise Encyclopedia).

14 eft “A second time, again; back”(OED); Buxome “Blithe, gladsome, bright, lively” (OED).

Source: The Gentlemen’s Magazine (August, 1768) p. 392.

 Edited by Steve Weber



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