The Humourist (March 26, 1754)

[26 March 1754]


— — — Nugaeq; canorae.


The Humourist was Yesterday in Company with the Muses, and the World must consider him in an unfavourable Light not to think him capable of being put in Tune.



The lazy morn as yet undrest,
My blooming nympth breaks from her east,
Runs usher to the sun in haste,
Who Phillis takes for Venus.
Triumphant now the shrill cock cries,
And warns the lab’ring swains to rise;
The waking swains start with surprise,
And bless the name of Phillis.


The birds their matins then began,
And whistling winds all nature fan;
Th’ awaken’d earth pours forth on man
The odours of my Phillis.
From out their beds the flow’rs arise,
And tow’ring emulate the skies,
And he that for their colour vies
Must view the cheeks of Phillis.


The sun amaz’d at pow’r so great,
At last appears in all his state;
But she withdrew her pow’rful heat,
So kind was charming Phillis.
Pleas’d with the sport, she judg’d it right,
Recall’d her beams, yet made no night,
And left the sun, her curate light
To own the pow’r of Phillis.

1 “Melodius nonsense,” from Horace’s Ars Poetica (line 322). The entire passage reads: “Often a play with fine bits, good roles, / Though without beauty, substance or art, amuses / The public more, and holds their attention better, / Than verses without content, melodious nonsense” (A. S. Kline’s translation, Horace: Ars Poetica).

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