To Mirth

Tobias Smollett

Parent of joy! heart-easing Mirth!
Whether of Venus or Aurora born;
Yet goddess sure of heavenly birth,
Visit benign a son of Grief forlorn;
Thy glittering colours gay,
Around him, Mirth, display;
And o'er his raptured sense
Diffuse thy living influence;
So shall each hill, in purer green array'd,
And, flower-adorn'd, in new-born beauty glow;
The grove shall smooth the horrors of the shade,
And streams in murmurs shall forget to flow.
Shine, goddess, shine with unremitted ray,
And gild (a second sun) with brighter beam our day.
Labour with thee forgets his pain,
And aged Poverty can smile with thee;
And weak th' uplifted arm of Tyranny.
The Morning opes on high
His universal eye;
And on the world doth pour
His glories in a golden shower!
Lo! Darkness trembling 'fore the hostile ray,
Shrinks to the cavern deep and wood forlorn:
The brood obscene, that own her gloomy sway
Troop in her rear, and fly th' approach of morn.
Pale shivering ghosts, that dread th' all-cheering light,
Quick as the lightning's flash glide to sepulchral night.
But whence the gladdening beam
That pours his purple stream
O'er the long prospect wide?
'Tis Mirth. I see her sit
In majesty of light,
With Laughter at her side.
Bright-eyed Fancy hovering near
Wide waves her glancing wing in air;
And young Wit flings his pointed dart,
That guiltless strikes the willing heart.
Fear not now Affliction's power,
Fear not now wild Passion's rage,
Nor fear ye aught in evil hour,
Save the tardy hand of Age.
Now Mirth hath heard the suppliant Poet's prayer;
No cloud that rides the blast shall vex the troubled air.

Last updated January 14, 2019