Christopher Anstey

(1724-1805 / England)

Ode On An Evening View Of The Cresent At Bath - Poem by Christopher Anstey

Lo! where beside yon verdant plain
Sweet Avon winds his way,
And smiling laves thy rich demain,
Sir Peter Rivers Gay,

Joyful I view the flocks that graze,
Or o'er his margin stray;
Here let us rest, and silent gaze
Sir Peter Rivers Gay.

Mark with what glee that playful crew
In life's delightful May,
Eager their childish sports pursue,
Sir Peter Rivers Gay:

Nor glads it less, now sol's withdrawn,
Yon nymphs in fair array
To trace the velvet of thy lawn,
Sir Peter Rivers Gay:

O! may no rude remorseless swains,
No churlish clown essay
To force them from these blissful plains
Sir Peter Rivers Gay!

E'en oe'r my brows tho' time should steal,
And spread his mantle grey,
Still to bright beauty's shrine I'd kneel,
Sir Peter Rivers Gay:

May health, blith active health be theirs,
No care their charms decay,
And, right I deem, you'll join my prayers,
Sir Peter Rivers Gay.

Now on yon Crescent's form so fair
My ravish'd eyes shall stay,
View all Palladio's beauties there,
Sir Peter Rivers Gay:

May it to thee full many a year,
It's joyful tribute pay--
But hark--what sounds salute mine ear
Sir Peter Rivers Gay:

Sure o'er my sense some waking dream,
Or airy visions play?--
No--'tis the genius of the stream,
Sir Peter Rivers Gay:

See! where he rests upon his urn,
With looks of sore dismay!
Turn there!--thy frighted visage turn,
Sir Peter Rivers Gay,

To thee he calls with stern command,
Slow gales his voice convey--
``Hold! hold! thy sacrilegious hand,
``Sir Peter Rivers Gay!

``Hush'd be ye winds, ye murm'ring streams,
``And hear old Avon pray:
``And thou attentive to my themes,
``Sir Peter Rivers Gay.

``Should'st thou by filthy Mammon stung,
``Thine own fair spot bewray,
``With scare--crows, cabbages, and dung
``Sir Peter Rivers Gay,

``Wo! to that architect superb,
``Who holds o'er Bath his sway,
``Yet still forgot thy pow'r to curb,
``Sir Peter Rivers Gay!

``His rueful corps some god transmute
``To mournful box or bay,
``(Or better should the yew--tree suit)
``Sir Peter Rivers Gay

``Cut him, his compass in his hand,
``Meet emblems round him lay;
``And like Vitruvius let him stand
``Sir Peter Rivers Gay

``Full in his Crescent's front: thine heir
``For ever and for aye
``Be doom'd to keep him in repair,
``Sir Peter Rivers Gay.

``But for that tribe so skill'd in quirk
``And quibble to betray,
``Who urg'd thee to this fatal work,
``Sir Peter Rivers Gay,

``May they to cursed hemlock sped
``Ne'er view sol's genial ray--
``Guard thou their poison from thine head
``Sir Peter Rivers Gay,

``For Oh!--I tremble to relate
``Thine ills in future day--
``A Collyflow'r must be thy fate,
``Sir Peter Rivers Gay:

``Thou in this fair, this fragrant spot
``Shalt od'rous plants survey,
``Thyself be destin'd to the pot,
``Sir Peter Rivers Gay;

``In vain your cabbag'd head you'll rear,
``And branching leaves display,
``Five farthings is the price you'll bear,
``Sir Peter Rivers Gay:

``And when of stalk and root beguil'd,
``For cooks you're deem'd a prey,
``And thou in thine own Crescent boil'd,
``Sir Peter Rivers Gay,

``E'en Jeffery Pounce, that griping elf,
``That hungry dunce, shall say--
````Troth,--thou'rt as tasteless as myself
````Friend Peter Rivers Gay.''''

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, October 7, 2010

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