Once more with many a sportive wile
To sooth stern winter to a smile,
The Attic troop will treat the stage
Their mimic war again to wage.
The daring knight who last year sought
The inky conflict, and who fought
Uncourtly wight! to draw the pen
Against our sex, to favour men!
Lysander once, but now a peaceful maid
In her own needle work arranged
Shunning the battle, and such rude disorders
Shines like a comet in her bugle borders!
With one fair hand she hold the ponderous shield
The slender needle doth the other wield
And like another Pallas, take the field
Our nymphs turn shepherds, and on mirth intent
For sister nymphs they flatteries invent
They praise their eyes, sometimes their wit, and swear!
By all that’s pretty! that they think them fair!
And do the Swains ne’er condescend to feign?
Oh yes, and very well too, that is plain
Sometimes forsooth philosophers and sages!
Not gracing this, but very distant ages,
But too impatient for the cheat to last
They change the tense, to present, from the past.
In short, we all take characters, or grave, or gay
And pleased our prompter’s hammer all obey
Our Editor the part of Prosp’ro takes
And each quick spirit at his beck forsakes
Its darling liberty in field or bower
Flies at his call, and owns the magic power!
Sage Anna comes, with her the dark-eyed maid
And one, who frequent in seclusion’s shade
Woos the fair Nine, nor unsuccessful woos,
But shares the favour of each liberal Muse
And once again with still renewed delight
Comes constant Moth, in somber plumage dight
To perch upon the laurel bough
That shades her dearest Stella’s brow!
Where all its woes shall be reliev’d,
Its devious wanderings retriev’d,
Its former oversights corrected,
Its schemes from failure all protected,
Where joy from sorrow’s lap shall spring,
And disappointment drop her wing.
In vain our fragrant sighs betray
That sadness dwells with us today,
Our own conviction we resist,
On each frail, trivial, good insist
Prove it will work some great event,
And cheer our bosoms with content.
Our drooping hearts, courting repose,
Would some new bourne of peace disclose
For scarce could duty make her way,
But for sweet hope’s alluring ray.