William Dunkin M.A., “Hymen’s Triumph, a Poem”


“Hymen’s Triumph, a Poem”
On the Marriage of Rev. Mr Richard Beauchamp to Miss Juliana Keatinge, Dublin, May 5, 1743

Once, Hymen, abus’d for the matches he made,
(Since beauty was barter’d, and wedlock a trade)
By Pallas instructed to pitch on a pair,
Joyn’d Dick the facetious to Julia the fair.
So true was his passion, so decent her carriage,                                                     5
Not even Diana could censure the marriage.
Apollo was charm’d with her mind, and his parts,
And tun’d the soft notes of his lute by their hearts:
The muses in chorus obey’d his command,
And hymn’d to graces, who danc’d hand in hand.                                                        10
The birds of the grove from the branches above
Sang spousal, and chatter’d the tydings of love.
To gather a garland, the nymphs and the fauns
Dismantled the meadows, the vallies and lawns:
The gay, living colours by Flora were wreath’d,                                                              15
And Zephyr cool-sigh’d to the odour she breath’d.
Vertumnus was present in garment of green,
And thus gayly spoke to the bloom-bearing queen.
‘Now the nymphs and the fauns may lavishly bring
The paintings of nature, and pride of the spring,                                                           20
Fair emblems of beauty! Vertumnus employs
The season, to ripen more delicate joys,
Rich omens of issue! with blossoms you suit
The virgin; but I shall adorn her with fruit.’
Then Mercury said, as he look’d on the bride                                                                  25
With an envious eye, calling Venus aside,
‘Alas, idle maid! what a part hath she acted,
To wed with a parson? –it makes me distracted:
My measures are broken, my purposes crost:
I meant her a lord—- but her market is lost.                                                                    30
Her sisters are like her: She gives us a sample,
And copies exactly her mother’s example:
It flows from the fountain: Her blood must inherit
This oddness of chusing out men for their merit.
Well, since she rejected the baits of my store                                                                   35
Adieu to the pleasures of Sweet Nora more
Quoth Venus, ‘You have little cause to repine,
The chief disappointment and anguish are mine,
You meant her a title of honour and pence,
I meant her a beau — but she truckled to sense.                                                              40
I long since might know, she would baffle my sport,
For, brother, I never could bring her to court.
Yet Cupid, to whom I committed her beauty,
Was blindly defective in doing his duty.’
‘Arraign not thy Cupid,’ glad Hymen replies,                                                                        45
‘For once he hath shewn, that his godship has eyes.’


1 Hymen Greek God of marriage (Britannica).

3 Pallas Another name for the Greek goddess, Athena, deity of war (Britannica).

6 Diana “In Roman religion, goddess of wild animals and the hunt, identified with the Greek goddess Artemis” (Britannica).

7 Apollo Though Apollo is formally known from different sources as god of several ideas (poetry, music, song, dance, sun, light, reason, etc.) here he is referred to as the deity of reason and music (Britannica).

13 fauns “In Roman mythology, a creature that is part human and part goat” (Britannica).

15 Flora Roman goddess of flowering plants (Britannica).

16 Zephyr A gentle breeze, shortened from Zephyrus the greek god of the west wind.

17 Vertumnus Roman god of metamorphoses in nature and life (Britannica).

25 Mercury Roman god of shopkeepers and merchants (Britannica).

26 Venus Roman goddess of love and fertility (Britannica).

28 parson A “beneficed member of the clergy of the Church of England” (OED).

29 crost Variation of crossed (OED).

36 pleasures of Sweet Nora Possibly a reference to the ancient Italian town of Nora that was well known for its fine theater and baths (Britannica).

40 beau Male companion (OED); truckled “Submit” (OED).

43 Cupid Roman god of love; often depicted as blind or blindfolded (Britannica).

45 Arraign “To find fault with” (OED).

46 shewn Variation of shown (OED).

 SOURCE: The Gentleman’s Magazine, vol. 13 (May 1743), p. 268. [Google Books]

 Edited by Mina Raeisi