Thomas Parnell

(1679 - 1718 / Ireland)

The Vigil Of Venus - Poem by Thomas Parnell

Let those love now, who never lov'd before,
Let those who always lov'd, now love the more.

The Spring, the new, the warb'ling Spring appears,
The youthful Season of reviving Years;
In Spring the Loves enkindle mutual Heats,
The feather'd Nation chuse their tuneful Mates,
The Trees grow fruitful with descending Rain
And drest in diff'ring Greens adorn the Plain.
She comes; to morrow Beauty's Empress roves
Thro' Walks that winding run within the Groves;
She twines the shooting Myrtle into Bow'rs,
And ties their meeting Tops with Wreaths of Flow'rs,
Then rais'd sublimely on her easy Throne
From Nature's pow'rful Dictates draws her own.
Let those love now, who never lov'd before,
Let those who always lov'd, now love the more.

'Twas on that Day which saw the teeming Flood
Swell round, impregnate with celestial Blood;
Wand'ring in Circles stood the finny Crew,
The midst was left a void Expanse of Blue,
There Parent Ocean work'd with heaving Throes,
And dropping wet the fair Dione rose.
Let those love now, who never lov'd before,
Let those who always lov'd, now love the more.

She paints the purple Year with vary'd show,
Tips the green Gem, and makes the Blossom glow.
She makes the turgid Buds receive the Breeze,
Expand to Leaves, and shade the naked Trees.
When gath'ring damps the misty Nights diffuse,
She sprinkles all the Morn with balmy Dews;
Bright trembling Pearls depend at ev'ry spray,
And kept from falling, seem to fall away.
A glossy Freshness hence the Rose receives,
And blushes sweet through all her silken Leaves;
(The Drops descending through the silent Night,
While Stars serenely roll their golden Light,)
Close 'till the Morn, her humid Veil she holds;
Then deckt with Virgin Pomp the Flow'r unfolds.
Soon will the Morning blush: Ye Maids! prepare,
In rosy Garlands bind your flowing Hair
'Tis Venus' Plant: The Blood fair Venus shed,
O'er the gay Beauty pour'd immortal Red;
From Love's soft Kiss a sweet Ambrosial Smell
Was taught for ever on the Leaves to dwell;
From Gemms, from Flames, from orient Rays of Light
The richest Lustre makes her Purple bright;
And she to morrow weds; the sporting Gale
Unties her Zone, she bursts the verdant Veil;
Thro' all her Sweets the rifling Lover flies,
And as he breaths, her glowing Fires arise.
Let those love now, who never lov'd before,
Let those who always lov'd, now love the more.

Now fair Dione to the Myrtle Grove
Sends the gay Nymphs, and sends her tender Love.
And shall they venture? is it safe to go?
While Nymphs have Hearts, and Cupid wears a Bow?
Yes safely venture, 'tis his Mother's Will;
He walks unarm'd and undesigning ill,
His Torch extinct, his Quiver useless hung,
His Arrows idle, and his Bow unstrung.
And yet, ye Nymphs, beware, his Eyes have Charms,
And Love that's naked, still is Love in Arms.
Let those love now, who never lov'd before,
Let those who always lov'd, now love the more.

From Venus Bow'r to Delia's Lodge repairs
A Virgin Train compleat with modest Airs:
‘Chast Delia! grant our Suit! or shun the Wood,
‘Nor stain this sacred Lawn with savage Blood.
‘Venis, O Delia! if she cou'd persuade,
‘Wou'd ask thy Presence, might she ask a Maid.
Here chearful Quires for three auspicious Nights
With Songs prolong the pleasurable Rites:
Here Crouds in Measures lightly-decent rove;
Or seek by Pairs the Covert of the Grove,
Where meeting Greens for Arbours arch above,
And mingling Flowrets strow the Scenes of Love.
Here dancing Ceres shakes her golden Sheaves:
Here Bacchus revels, deckt with viny Leaves:
Here Wit's enchanting God in Lawrel crown'd
Wakes all the ravish'd Hours with silver Sound.
Ye Fields, ye Forests, own Dione's Reign,
And Delia, Huntress Delia, shun the Plain.
Let those love now, who never lov'd before,
Let those who always lov'd, now love the more.

Gay with the Bloom of all her opening Year,
The Queen at Hybla bids her Throne appear;
And there presides; and there the fav'rite Band
(Her smiling Graces) share the great Command.
Now beauteous Hybla! dress thy flow'ry Beds
With all the Pride the lavish Season sheds,
Now all thy Colours, all thy Fragrance yield,
And rival Enna's Aromatick Field.
To fill the Presence of the gentle Court
From ev'ry Quarter rural Nymphs resort,
From Woods, from Mountains, from their humble Vales,
From Waters curling with the wanton Gales.
Pleas'd with the joyful Train, the laughing Queen
In Circles seats them round the Bank of green;
And 'lovely Girls, (she whispers) guard your Hearts;
‘My Boy, tho' stript of Arms, abounds in Arts.
Let those love now, who never lov'd before,
Let those who always lov'd, now love the more.

Let tender Grass in shaded Allys spread,
Let early Flow'rs erect their painted Head.
To morrow's Glory be to morrow seen,
That Day, old Ether wedded Earth in green.
The Vernal Father bid the Spring appear,
In Clouds he coupled to produce the Year,
The Sap descending o'er her Bosom ran,
And all the various sorts of Soul began.
By Wheels unknown to Sight, by secret Veins
Distilling Life, the fruitful Goddess reigns,
Through all the lovely Realms of native Day,
Through all the circled Land, and circling Sea;
With fertil Seed she fill'd the pervious Earth,
And ever fix'd the mystick Ways of Birth.
Let those love now, who never lov'd before,
Let those who always lov'd, now love the more.

'Twas she the Parent, to the Latian Shore
Through various Dangers Troy's Remainder bore.
She won Lavinia for her warlike Son,
And winning her, the Latian Empire won.
She gave to Mars the Maid, whose honour'd Womb
Swell'd with the Founder of immortal Rome.
Decoy'd by Shows the Sabin Dames she led,
And taught our vig'rous Youth the Means to wed.
Hence sprung the Romans, hence the Race divine
Thro' which great Cæsar draws his Julian Line.
Let those love now, who never lov'd before,
Let those who always lov'd, now love the more.

In rural Seats the Soul of Pleasure reigns;
The Life of Beauty fills the rural Scenes;
Ev'n Love (if Fame the Truth of Love declare)
Drew first the breathings of a rural Air.
Some pleasing Meadow pregnant Beauty prest,
She laid her Infant on its flow'ry Breast,
From Nature's Sweets he sipp'd the fragrant Dew,
He smil'd, he kiss'd them, and by kissing grew.
Let those love now, who never lov'd before,
Let those who always lov'd, now love the more.

Now Bulls o'er Stalks of Broom extend their Sides,
Secure of Favours from their lowing Brides.
Now stately Rams their fleecy Consorts lead,
Who bleating follow thro' the wand'ring Shade.
And now the Goddess bids the Birds appear,
Raise all their Musick, and salute the Year:
Then deep the Swan begins, and deep the Song
Runs o'er the Water where he sails along;
While Philomela tunes a treble Strain,
And from the Poplar charms the list'ning Plain.
We fancy Love exprest at ev'ry Note,
It melts, it warbles, in her liquid Throat.
Of barb'rous Tereus she complains no more,
But sings for Pleasure as for Grief before.
And still her Graces rise, her Airs extend,
And all is Silence 'till the Syren end.

How long in coming is my lovely Spring?
And when shall I, and when the Swallow sing?
Sweet Philomela cease,—Or here I sit,
And silent lose my rapt'rous Hour of Wit:
'Tis gone, the Fit retires, the Flames decay,
My tuneful Phœbus flies averse away.
His own Amycle thus, as Stories run,
But once was silent, and that once undone.
Let those love now, who never lov'd before,
Let those who always lov'd, now love the more.


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 17, 2010



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