William Shenstone

Upon a Visit to a Lady of Quality

William Shenstone was an English poet and one of the earliest practitioners of landscape gardening through the development of his estate, The Leasowes.

On fair Asteria's blissful plains,
Where ever-blooming fancy reigns,
How pleased we pass the winter's day,
And charm the dull-eyed Spleen away!

No linnet, from the leafless bough,
Pours forth her note melodious now,
But all admire Asteria's tongue,
Nor wish the linnet's vernal song.

No flowers emit their transient rays;
Yet sure Asteria's wit displays
More various tints, more glowing lines,
And with perennial beauty shines.

Though rifled groves and fetter'd streams
But ill befriend a poet's dreams;
Asteria's presence wakes the lyre,
And well supplies poetic fire.

The fields have lost their lovely dye;
No cheerful azure decks the sky:
Yet still we bless the lowering day;
Asteria smiles-and all is gay.

Hence let the Muse no more presume,
To blame the winter's dreary gloom;
Accuse his loitering hours no more,
But, ah! their envious haste deplore.

For soon, from Wit and Friendship's reign,
The social hearth, the sprightly vein,
I go-to meet the coming year,
On savage plains, and deserts drear!

I go-to feed on pleasures flown,
Nor find the spring my loss atone;
But, 'mid the flowery sweets of May,
With pride recall this winter's day.

© Poetry.com