Tag Archives: anonymous

Anonymous, “[On Tobacco, a translation”]


 [“On Tobacco, a translation”]

Sweet charmer of my solitude,
Brilliant pipe, consuming tube,
Who clear’st the vapours from my brain,
And my mind from anxious pain!
Tobacco! source of my delight,                                      5
When I see thee quit my sight,
And vanish in the purer air,
Like the lightning’s quick career,
I see the image of my life below,
And whither soon my breath must go.                      10
By thee I trace, in colours strong,
That man is nothing but a song,
An animated heap of clay,
The jest and sport of but a day;
That as thy smoke I pass away,                                    15
An emblem of my own decay.


Title This poem appears without a title in the Gentleman’s Magazine, but includes the following prefatory comment: “Mr. Urban, I send you the following French verses written by a Monk, with the translation. A.P.P.”

2 Consuming tube A reference to the reed stem pipe, which was developed in the eighteenth-century. These pipes were made with a natural reed stem, resembling a tube, which slips into a bowl.

 3-4 In the eighteenth-century, tobacco was used to treat anything from colic to vomit, hernia, rheumatic pains, and various infirmities including anxiety.

 Source: The Gentleman’s Magazine (April, 1785), p. 308.

 Edited by Farnam Adelkhani

Anonymous, “Kitty”


To the tune of, What tho’ I am a country lass.

Of all the girls in our street,
There’s none like charming Kitty;
She is so lovely fair and sweet,
So exquisitely pretty.
That all the beaux, where’er she goes,                                   5
Portest they all adore her;
A girl so fair, so debonair,
Was never seen before her.
Whene’er she speaks, or smiles, or moves,
Or when she sweetly sings, sir,                                       10
Ten thousand little sportive loves
For pleasure Slap their wings, sir.
Then who can shun so sweet a snare,
Or chuse but to adore her?
A girl so fair, so debonair                                                         15
Was never seen before her.
The lilly whiteness of her hand,
The sparkling of her eye—Sir,
That face which none can look upon,
And Cupid’s power defy,—sir,                                            20
With all these charms and beauties blest,
In spite of all my art—sir,
Sh’ has pierc’d, alas! my lovesick breast,
And stole away my heart—sir,

The rest of this Song is lost.


 Title What tho’ I am a country lass An early seventeenth-century ballad, possibly written by Martin Parker, and collected in William Thomson’s Orpheus Caledonius (London, 1725), p. 85.

5 Beaux Fashionable men(OED).

7 Debonair “Of gentle disposition, mild, gracious, kindly” (OED).

4 Chuse Variant spelling of “choose” (OED).

20 Cupid’s “In Roman Mythology, the god of love” (OED).

Source: The Gentleman’s Magazine (December 1740), p. 619.

Edited by Masaki Kaneko

Anonymous, “Damon’s Complaint for Amynta’s absence. In the person of a despairing Shepherd”


 “DAMON‘s Complaint for AMYNTA‘s absence. In the person of a despairing Shepherd. By a young Lady”


AH, hapless fate, and luckless day,
That call’d my lovely nymph away!
O fairest fav’rite of the plain,
Desir’d by all, desir’d in vain;
O thou, my dear, my darling theme,                               5
My morning tho’t, my midnight dream;
Beneath what poplar, or what pine
Dost thou thy slumb’ring charms recline,
While whisp’ring breezes panting play,
And waft the sultry heats away?                                     10
O nymph, return to Damon‘s call,
See! floods of tears in torrents fall!
By which in silence are exprest
The struggling sorrows of my breast.
But ah! how vainly do I mourn,                                      15
And wish my absent Fair’s return!
Perhaps a more deserving swain
Detains her on a distant plain.
Charmer! was all the world my own,
I’d change that world for thee alone!                              20
Lord of my heart, thy love my crown,
With pity I’d on kings look down.
O, then return, no longer stay,
But haste, my fair one, haste away.
Here ev’ry bird, on ev’ry tree,                                         25
Fills ev’ry twig with harmony:
The primrose paints the bank around,
And vi’lets strew th’ impurpled ground:
The tow’ring larks, enchanting, sing,
And gayly smiles the glad’ning spring:                          30
While flocks compleat the rural scene,
And frisk, and ramble round the green.
Beneath yon oak’s expanding shade,
A lovely arbour I have made:
The woodbine, jes’mine, vine and rose,                         35
In various twines the parts compose;
And this I did, O fair ! for thee
To taste the noontide air with me.
Return, return ! thy charms disclose,
O, mistress of my soul’s repose.                                    40
No longer let they Damon sigh,
But songs of joy for tears supply.
Didst thou, my dear Amynta, know
The tort’ring griefs I undergoe,
Pity wou’d, sure, thy heart incline,                                 45
By sympathy to throb with mine.
O, may the Gods thy breast inspire
With some such sympathetic fire!
And, may’st thou then thy Damon bless
In one completed happiness!                                        50
Then shall our fates so close be ty’d,
That nothing can our joys divide:
Thy kisses shall my senses charm;
Thy bliss my breast with bliss shall warn:
Nor, shall I grieve thy griefs to share,                           55
O, fairest of ten thousands fair!


Title Damon’s Complaint for Amynta’s absence A possible reference to John Dryden’s poem, “The Tears Of Amynta, For the Death of Damon. A Song” (1684).

2 nymph “A young and beautiful woman” (OED).

17 swain “A man, youth. Also, esp. in pastoral poetry, a country gallant or lover, wooer, sweetheart” (OED).

27 primrose “A well-known plant bearing pale yellowish flowers in early spring” (OED).

Source: The Gentleman’s Magazine (February, 1748), p. 87. [Google Books]

Edited by Ben Koh

Anonymous, “Sonnet, on the Inhabitants of London”


“Sonnet, on the Inhabitants of LONDON

In London scarce a bird but may be found:
The sun-ey’d eagle borne on lofty wing,
Linnets that adulate the smile of Spring,
And ravens croaking with portentous sound:

Owls wrapt in dulness, crows tow’rd carrion bound,                            5
Parrots whose squalling notes incessant ring,
Swallows that dare to chatter near a King,
And gabbling geese nice students wish were drown’d:

Mud-haunting ducks that dabble in the street,
Fine birds of paradise with little feet,                                                       10
Peacocks that spread a gaudy-painted fan;
Grain-raking poultry, enemies to flow’rs,
The stork imperious that all things devours,
A phoenix there would be an honest man.


 3 Linnets A type of finch known for its pleasant song with quick trills and tweets; adulate To flatter in an obsequious or sycophantic manner, to fawn on” (OED).

 4 portentous “Ominous, threatening” (OED).

 10 birds of paradise A family of birds found throughout the islands of New Guinea which are recognizable by the males’ highly elaborate plumage.

 13 imperious “Exercising a commanding influence; ruling, sovereign, dominant” (OED).

 14 Phoenix A bird in Greek mythology that was characteristically long lived and went through cycles of death and rebirth from its ashes. Also an early symbol of Christianity.

Source: The Gentleman’s Magazine (July, 1777), p. 345.

 Edited by Tyler Greer

Anonymous, “Verses, Written by a Young Lady, On the Death of her Father.


“Verses, Written by a Young Lady, On the Death of her Father”

 How short a span of miserable life!
And short the blessings that on earth we know!
Forc’d from a tender and a loving wife,
A husband, and a father’s lost below.

No more with happiness I view the morn,                                             5
No more with joy I tread the well-known walk;
Each place to me is dreary and forlorn,
But think in every thing I hear him talk.

When on each plant I turn my wandering eye,
And on each flower I think I see his shade,                                    10
I often stop, and think my father by;
But he is gone, and left this vain parade.

Of life, that transitory, fleeting thing,
To happier realms of everlasting joy:
He’s couch’d beneath th’ Almighty’s heavenly wing,                            15
And bless’d with happiness nothing can destroy.


 7 forlorn “Pitifully sad and abandoned or lonely” (OED).

13 transitory “Not permanent” (OED).

15 Almighty God, the Creator.

12 Printer’s error, period added to this line.

Source: The Gentleman’s Magazine, vol. 59 (Supplement, 1789), p. 1206.

Edited by Sierra Bagstad

Anonymous, “On seeing Saphira in a Riding Habit”


 On seeing SAPHIRA in a Riding Habit

 WHEN Sapphira, in her sex’s garb we see,
The queen of beauty then she seems to be:
Now, fair Adonis, in this male disguise,
Or Cupid, killing with his mother’s eyes:
No stile of empire’s chang’d by this remove,                                                       5
Who seem’d the goddess, seems the god of love.


Title Riding Habit “A garment or outfit worn for horse riding; (in later use) a riding dress worn by women or girls, consisting of a long skirt and tight-fitting, double-breasted jacket” (OED).

3 Adonis In classical myth, a beautiful youth loved by both Aphrodite and Persephone. In extended usage, an Adonis is an extremely handsome young man (OCD).

4 Cupid, killing with his mothers eyes In classical mythology, the god of love and desire. He is often portrayed as the son of Venus, the goddess of love.

5 stile Variant spelling of the word “style.”

Source: The Gentlemans Magazine, vol. 36 (February 1766), p. 89.

Edited by Sierra Moreno

Anonymous, “Thoughts on Life”



 LIFE! thou dead, deceitful guest!
Precious trifle! ferious jest!
Drawn by thee, we roam below,
Pilgrims, thro’ a vale of woe:
Toiling or by land or seas,                                         5
Strangers to the balm of ease!
Slaves to pleasure, tumult, gain,
O thou bitter–sweet to man!
In thy train, thy belt of friends,
Hope, fallacious fair! attends;                                  10
Hope, a thin, a shad’wy elf!
Hope, true image of thyself;
When against thy pow’r we rise,
Rous’d to rage, to mutinies!
When we aim the fatal stroke,                                 15
Ready to throw off thy yoke;
She the lifted hand arrests,
Fills with food of courts our breasts;
Anew we own our former lord,
To thee, and to ourselves, restor’d.                         20


2 ferious Variant of “furious.”

7 tumult “Commotion of a multitude, usually with confused speech or uproar; public disturbance; disorderly or riotous proceeding” (OED).

10 fallacious “Deceptive, misleading” (OED).

11 Shad’wy elf A “wandering spirit; a devil” (Johnson).

16 yoke “A bond; a mark of servitude; slavery” (Johnson).

 Source: The Gentleman’s Magazine, (December 1744), p. 671.

Edited by Henry Bettencourt

Anonymous, “Ode on the month of May, after the manner of Hagedorn”


“ODE on the month of MAY, after the manner of HAGEDORN, Book III. p. 146”

“Der nachtigall reitzende lieder”

 THY notes, sweet bird, resounding thro’ the grove,
Proclaim the joyful hours of spring and love.
The lark ascending hails the new-born day,
The feather’d choir now join in vocal lay,
To celebrate great Nature’s holiday;                                                                         5
The swan majestic, with her downy throng,
Now seek the clear translucent wave that flows the woods among.

In pleasant green the earth, with flowers attri’d
Calls forth the nymphs and swains by love inspir’d;
To share the pleasures bounteous Nature yields,                                                  10
The merry sparrow ranges thro’ the fields;
In gentle strains the soft lamenting dove
Bemoans the absence of his wedded love.
From forth his orient bed, in splendour bright,
The God of Day pursues the shades of night;                                                         15
Driving far off each noxious influence:
Prolific beam! thy genial powers dispense,
That every flower, enliven’d by thy ray,
May spread their glories to the face of day.

Mild Zephyr, long estrang’d from Flora’s bed,                                                         20
Impatient seeks the variegated maid,
And wooes her mid enamell’d shades and bowers,
Fost’ring their offspring bright of new-born flowers;
Their odours shed a grateful scent around,
Nor e’er did jealousy their loves confound.                                                             25

Winter’s cold haggard form now disappears,
In foliage green each tree new livery wears,
And every flower awaken’d rears its head;
The gaudy may-bush, flutt’ring in the shade,
Boasts that this month for her alone was made.                                                   30
From rocks stupendous living water flow,
Refreshing thirsty glades, and fields, and woods below.
To thee, fair month, I consecrate the verse,
Pleas’d while thy bounteous gift I thus rehearse;
And ye, thrice happy swains, who now enjoy                                                         35
These temperate blessings with no mix’d alloy,
In you the simple and serene we own,
And learn to fly the vices of the Town!


 Title The subtitle alludes to Friedrich Von Hagedorn (1708-1754), a famous German poet. This poem is modeled after his poem titled “Der Mai” found in the book Oden und Lieder, 3 vol. (1742–52; “Odes and Songs”). This poem begins with the line “Der nachtigall reitzende lieder” which translates as “the nightingale singing softly” (Encyclopaedia Britannica).

5 Nature’s holiday Springtime.

15 God of Day The sun.

9 Nymphs “Any of a class of semi-divine spirits, imagined as taking the form of a maiden inhabiting the sea, rivers, mountains, woods, trees, etc., and often portrayed in poetry as attendants on a particular god” (OED).

20 Zephyr, long estrang’d from Flora’s bed Zephyr is a Greek god of the west wind who is married to Flora. She is a nymph to spring time and flowers. He is the messenger of spring.

29 may-bush “The hawthorn tree, Crataegus monogyna; a branch of this. Also: a construction of hawthorn branches” (OED).

33 consecrate “Dedicated to a sacred purpose; made sacred; hallowed, sanctified” (OED).

36 alloy  “To qualify or diminish (a pleasure, feeling, etc.) by the admixture of something unpleasant; to contaminate or adulterate” (OED).

Source: The Gentleman’s Magazine (May, 1786), p. 428.

 Edited by Lauren Page

Anonymous, “On the Dissection of a Body”


 “On the Dissection of a Body”


OBSERVE this wonderful machine,
View its connection with each part,
Thus furnish’d by the hand unseen,
How far surpassing human art!

Should ablest imitators try,                                                                       5
With utmost skill, to form a like,
Could they so charm the curious eye?
Could they with equal wonder strike?

See how the motion of each part
Upon some other still depends,                                                      10
When all a mutual aid impart,
Conductive to their various ends.

Whilst we th’amazing frame explore,
More secret wonders still we spy,
Yet there remain ten thousand more                                                     15
Hid from the microscopic eye.

Here may the stupid Atheist see
Convincing proofs —-which all combine
To overthrow his wretched plan,
And speak the Maker’s hand divine.                                               20

What great emoluments accrue
To those whose Nature’s laws obey?
From such instructions in her view,
Ye sons of Esculapius say!

Tho’God has call’d the life he lent,                                                         25
Each vital function, dormant laid,
Here we trace Nature’s deep intent,
And see how once the springs were play’d.

These tubes convey’d the purple juice,
WhichWhich with new strength supply’d the whole;                   30
And here branch’d forth the nerves, whose use
Was to keep converse with the soul.

This silent preacher points us out
The cause of many a latent ill,
Which, heretofore, lay hid in doubt,                                                       35
Baffling each effort of our skill.


10 other Corrected printer’s error; originally spelled as “othe.”

 21 emoluments “Profit or gain arising from station, office, or employment” (OED).

 24 son of Esculapius Modern physicians. Asclepius, a Greek healer who extended the knowledge of medicine among mankind, was killed by Zeus for charging money to raise the dead, but also revived by Zeus as the god of healing and medicine.

28 springs From the phrase “the springs of life,” or youth (OED).

29 purple juice Blood, as one of the four Hippocratic four humors, is the vital force and innate heat of the body. According to Hippocratic medicine, when blood loses its force and heat, its color changes from red to purple.

34 latent “Of a disease, disorder, infection, or infectious agent: present but not (yet) producing symptoms or clinical signs” (OED).

Source: The Gentlemen’s Magazine, Vol. 40 (August 1770), pp. 385-86.

 Edited by Tammy J. Allen

Anonymous, “Song for an Amazon…”


 “SONG for an AMAZON
Intended to have been sung after the complaining
Pastoral Ballad in Comus”

 Swains I scorn, who, nice and fair,
Shiver at the morning air,
Rough and hardy, bold and free,
Be the man that’s made for me.

Slaves to fashion, slaves to dress,                               5
Fops themselves alone caress,
Let them without rival be,
They are not the men for me.

He whose nervous arm can dart,
The javelin to the tyger’s heart,                                  10
From all sense of danger free,
He’s the man that’s made for me.

While his speed outstrips the wind,
Lovely wave his locks behind,
From his fantastic foppery free,                                 15
He’s the man that’s made for me.

Nor simpering smile, nor dimple sleek
Spoil his manly sun-burnt cheek,
By weather let him painted be,
He’s the man that’s made for me                                20

If false he prove my javelin can
Revenge the perjury of man,
And soon another, brave as he,
Shall be found the man for me.


 Title Comus A masque written by John Milton (1608-1674), first performed in 1634 and published in 1637.

1 Swains Young lovers or suitors.

6 Fops Men overly concerned with their appearance.

17 sleek “(Of hair, fur, or skin) smooth and glossy” (OED).

22 perjury “The offense of willfully telling an untruth in a court after having taken an oath or affirmation” (OED).

Source: The Gentleman’s Magazine (January 1741), p. 45.

Edited by Robin Jang