The Scots Magazine, Vol. I, November 1739, Poetical Essays, p.569-70
OH! let me, Thames, along thy surface glide,
And waft me smoothly on thy swelling tide;
Bear me, oh! bear me to the peaceful grove,
The Shades of Vaux-Hall, and the courts of love;
Those fragrant bowers where art and nature vie,
Whose shady walks delight the ravish'd eye.
The Paphian Queen forsakes her fav'rite seat,
And rears new temples in this lov'd retreat:
Here Cupid's arrows more successful prove,
While beauty warms, and musick melts to love;
In these soft scenes he takes the surest aim,
Where all things round promote the pleasing flame.
At distance see th'Idalian state appear.
Hark! through the grove magic sounds I hear.
Care, hatred, envy, all are left behind,
With ev'ry passion that disturbs the mind:
Pleasure receives us with her jovial train,
And smiling Plenty strives to entertain. -
Here pause a while, with wonder and surprise,
And mark the beauties singly as they rise.
Th'extensive visto thro' the walk pursue,
The straight perspective lengthening to the view:
Here trace the winding thro' the artless shade,
There see the wide extending colonade!
The twining grove for contemplation form'd,
The gay pavilion splendidly adorn'd:
Or in the winding maze intently stray,
While warbling nightingales around you play;
In more melodious notes they learn to sing,
Join in the consort, and salute the spring.
In these cool shades the happy couples rove,
And the coy youth oft dares to whisper love;
While some persuasive, soft, inchanting air,
To kind compliance melts the tender fair.
The Statesman here to mirth and pleasure yields;
The Poet wanders in Elysian fields;
The gay, the grave, the sprightly, and severe,
All, all alike find something pleasing here.
Behold! from ev'ry walk the nimble fair
Trip round th'orchestra at some fav'rite air.
But hark! what slow, what solemn sounds are these,
Which wake our grief, and make even sorrow please!
Can sounds such lively images impart!
Can musick sway thus powerful o'er the heart!
Unhappy Saul* thy fate we're taught to mourn,
And bend in silent sorrow round thy urn.
Let Orpheus boast his lyre, and matchless skill,
Who drew the brutes obedient to his will;
The stones assembled at Amphion's call,
Danc'd into form, and built the Theban wall:
Thy art, resistless, can alike engage,
HANDEL! thou Orpheus of the present age!
Loud in these woods may thy soft strains resound,
And mimic Echo catch the dying sound!
But now in shades the envious night descends,
And o'er the grove her sable wing extends.
Fly Morpheus hence, thy ebon sceptre sway
O'er the dull race who dream their time away:
Be theirs to sleep; but let us waking prove
The charms of beauty, and the sweets of love;
While from each tree darts forth a steady ray,
And pays us doubly for the loss of day.
A thousand stars thro' the thick wood are seen,
Dance in thy shades and twinkle thro' thy green;
Each lofty elm in twining alcoves grows,
And o'er our heads a painted sky compose;
And now, dispers'd, they taste the friendly bowl,
Wine chears the heart, and musick warms the soul.
Thus Venus, Bacchus and Apollo join
In one kind aim, and all to please combine.
May no descending dew, no boistrous shower,
Drive thy bright beauties from the tufted bower;
May no loud thunder interrupt their joy,
No nimble lightning with swift flash destroy;
But thou, pale moon! whose clearer beams delight,
Diffuse thy mildness o'er the face of night.
* Alluding to Handel's King Saul, an oratorio
Return to: Contemporary Sources