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The Argument. Subject proposed. Invocation of May. Description of her:

ber operations on Nature. Bounty recommended: in par: ticular at this season. Vernal apostrophe. Love the ruling passion in May. The celebration of Venus her birthday in this month. Rural retirement in spring. Conclusion.

ETHEREAL daughter of the lusty Spring
And sweet Favonius, ever gentle May!
Shall I, unblamed, presume of thee to sing,
And with thy living colours gild my lay?
Thy genial spirit mantles in my brain;
My numbers languish in a softer vein :
I pant, too emulous, to flow in Spenser's strain.
Say, mild Aurora of the blooming year,
With storms when Winter blackens Nature's face;
When whirling winds the howling forest tear,
And shake the solid mountains from their base;
Say, what refulgent chambers of the sky
Veil thy beloved glories from the eye,
For which the nations pine, and Earth's fair chil.

dren die ?

Where Leda's twins *, forth from their diamond

Alternate, o’er the Night their beams divide;
In light embosom’d, happy, and secure
From Winter rage, thou choosest to abide.

* Castor and Pollux.

Bless'd residence! for there, as poets tell,
The powers of Poetry and Wisdom dwell* ;
Apollo wakes the Arts; the Muses strike the shell.
Certes + o'er Rhedicyna’s laureld mead,
(For ever spread, ye laurels green and new!)
The brother stars their gracious nurture shed,
And secret blessings of poetic dew.
They bathe their horses in the learned flood,
With flame recruited for the ethereal road;
And deem fair Isis’swans fair as their father god.
No sooner April, trimm’d with girlandsø gay,
Rains fragrance o'er the world, and kindly showers;
But, in the eastern pride of beauty, May,
To gladden Earth, forsakes her heavenly bowers,
Restoring Nature from her palsied state.
April, retire; ne || longer, Nature, wait:
Soon may she issue from the Morning's golden gate.
Come, bounteous May! in fulness of thy might,
Lead briskly on the mirth-infusing hours,
All recent from the bosom of delight,
With nectar nurtured, and involved in flowers :
By Spring's sweet blush, by Nature's teeming
By Hebè's dimply smile, by Flora's bloom : [womb;
By Venus'self (for Venus' self demands thee) come!
By the warm sighs, in dewy eventide,
Of melting maidens, in the woodbine groves,
To pity loosen'd, soften'd down from pride;
By billing turtles, and by cooing doves;

• The Gemini are supposed to preside over learned men, See Pontanus, in his beautiful poem called Urania. Lib. 2. De Gemini.

+ Sarely, certainly: Ibid. Rhedicyna, Oxford.

1 Jupiter deceived Leda in the shape of a swan, as she was bathing herself in the river Earotas. Ø Garlands.

|| Nor.

By the youths' plainings stealing on the air (For youths will plain, though yielding be the fair), Hither, to bless the maidens and the youths, re

pair. With dew bespangled, by the hawthorn buds, With freshness breathing, by the daisied plains, By the mix'd music of the warbling woods, And jovial roundelays * of nymphs and swains; In thy full energy and rich array, Delight of earth and heaven, O blessed May! From heaven descend to earth: on earth vouch.

safe to stay. She comes !-a silken camus t, emerald green, Gracefully loose, adown her shoulders flows (Fit to enfold the limbs of Paphos' queen), And with the labours of the needle glows, Purfled # by Nature's hand! The amorous air And musky western breezes fast repair, Her mantle proud to swell, and wanton with her

hair. Her hair (but rather threads of light it seems), With the gay honours of the Spring entwined, Copious, unbound, in nectar'd ringlets streams, Floats glittering on the sun, and scents the wind, Lovesick with odours !—Now to order roll’d, It melts upon her bosom's dainty mould, Or, curling round her waist, disparts its wavy

gold. Young circling roses, blushing, round them throw The sweet abundance of their purple rays, And lilies, dipp'd in fragrance, freshly blow, With blended beauties in her angel face. Songs. + A light gown.

# Flourished with a needle.

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The humid radiance beaming from her eyes
The air and seas illumes, the earth and skies;
And open, where she smiles, the sweets of Paradise.
On Zephyr's wing the laughing goddess view,
Distilling balm. She cleaves the buxom air,
Attended by the silver-footed Dew,
The ravages of Winter to repair.
She gives her naked bosom to the gales,
Her naked bosom down the ether sails;
Her bosom breathes delight; her breath the

Spring exhales.
All as the phoenix, in Arabian skies,
New burnish'd from his spicy funeral pyres,
At large, in roseal undulation *, flies;
His plumage dazzles, and the gazer tires :
Around their king the plumy nations wait,
Attend his triumph, and augment his state :
He, towering, claps his wings, and wins the'

ethereal height So round this phoenix of the gaudy year A thousand, nay ten thousand sports and smiles, Fluttering in gold, along the hemisphere, Her praises chant; her praises glad the isles. Conscious of her approach (to deck her bowers) Earth from her fruitful lap and bosom pours A waste of springing sweets and voluntary flowers.

• Pliny tells us, Lib. 11, that the phenix is about the bigness of an eagle; the feathers round the neck shining like gold; the body of a parple colour; the tail blue, with feathers resem. bling roses. See Clandian's fine Poem on that sabject, and Marcellus Donatas, who has a short dissertation on the phenix in his Observations on Tacitus. Annal. Lib. 6. Wesley on Job, and Sir Tho. Brown's Vulgar Errors.



Narcissus * fair, in snowy velvet gown’d;
Ah, foolish! still to love the fountain brim :
Sweet Hyacinth +, by Phoebus erst bemoan'd;
And tulip, flaring in her powder'd trim.
Whate'er Armida Ś, in thy gardens blew;
Whate'er the sun inhales, or sips the dew;
Whate'er compose the chaplet on Ianthe's brow.

He who undazed || can wander o'er her face,
May gain upon the solar blaze at noon;
What more than female sweetness, and a grace
Peculiar! save, Ianthe, thine alone,
Ineffable effusion of the day!
So very much the same that lovers say,
May is Ianthe; or the dear Ianthe May.

So far as doth the harbinger of Day
The lesser lamps of Night in sheen excel:
So far in sweetness and in beauty May
Above all other months doth bear the bell.
So far as May doth other months exceed,
So far in virtue and in goodlihead **
Above all other nymphs Ianthe bears the meed tt.

* A beautiful youth who, beholding his face in a fountain, fell in love with himself, and pining away was changed into a flower which bears his name. See Ovid. Metamorph. Lib. 3.

+ Beloved, and turned into a flower, by Apollo. See the Story in Ovid. Met. Lib. 10. There is likewise a curious dia. logue in Lucian bet wixt Mercury and Apollo on this subject. Servius, in his Notes on Virgil's second Bucolic, takes the Hyacinth to be the Vaccinigin of the Latins, bearing some similitude with the name.

| Formerly : long ago.
☺ See Tasso's Il Goffredo, Canto 16. || Undazzled.
Brightness, shining.

tt Prize.

** Beauty

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