To Giovanni Battista Manso, Marquis Of Villa. Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


Giovanni Battista Manso Marquis of Villa is an Italian Nobleman of the highest estimation among his countrymen for Genius Literature and military accomplishments To Him Torquato Tasso addressed his Dialogue on Friendship for he was much the friend of Tasso who has also celebrated him among the other princes of his country in his poem entitled Jerusalem Conquered Book XXA
Among cavaliers magnanimous and courteousA
Manso is resplendentB
During the Author's stay at Naples he received at the hands of the Marquis a thousand kind offices and civilities and desirous not to appear ungrateful sent him this poem a short time before his departure from that cityC
These verses also to thy praise the NineD
Oh Manso happy in that theme designD
For Gallus and Maecenas gone they seeC
None such besides or whom they love as TheeC
And if my verse may give the meed of fameE
Thine too shall prove an everlasting nameE
Already such it shines in Tasso's pageF
For thou wast Tasso's friend from age to ageF
And next the Muse consign'd not unawareG
How high the charge Marini to thy careG
Who singing to the nymphs Adonis' praiseA
Boasts thee the patron of his copious laysA
To thee alone the Poet would entrustH
His latest vows to thee alone his dustH
And Thou with punctual piety hast paidI
In labour'd brass thy tribute to his shadeI
Nor this contented thee but lest the graveJ
Should aught absorb of their's which thou could'st saveJ
All future ages thou has deign'd to teachK
The life lot genius character of eachK
Eloquent as the Carian sage who trueL
To his great theme the Life of Homer drewL
I therefore though a stranger youth who comeM
Chill'd by rude blasts that freeze my Northern homeN
Thee dear to Clio confident proclaimE
And Thine for Phoebus' sake a deathless nameE
Nor Thou so kind wilt view with scornful eyeO
A Muse scarce rear'd beneath our sullen skyO
Who fears not indiscrete as she is youngP
To seek in Latium hearers of her songQ
We too where Thames with his unsullied wavesA
The tresses of the blue hair'd Ocean lavesA
Hear oft by night or slumb'ring seem to hearR
O'er his wide stream the swan's voice warbling clearS
And we could boast a Tityrus of yoreT
Who trod a welcome guest your happy shoreT
Yes dreary as we own our Northern climeE
E'en we to Phoebus raise the polish'd rhymeE
We too serve Phoebus Phoebus has receiv'dU
If legends old may claim to be believ'dU
No sordid gifts from us the golden earR
The burnish'd apple ruddiest of the yearS
The fragrant crocus and to grace his faneV
Fair damsels chosen from the Druid trainV
Druids our native bards in ancient timeE
Who Gods and Heroes prais'd in hallow'd rhymeE
Hence often as the maids of Greece surroundW
Apollo's shrine with hymns of festive soundW
They name the virgins who arriv'd of yoreT
With British off'rings on the Delian shoreT
Loxo from Giant Corineus sprungP
Upis on whose blest lips the Future hungP
And Hecaerge with the golden hairG
All deck'd with Pic'ish hues and all with bosoms bareG
Thou therefore happy Sage whatever climeE
Shall ring with Tasso's praise in after timeE
Or with Marini's shalt be known their friendX
And with an equal flight to fame ascendX
The world shall hear how Phoebus and the NineD
Were inmates once and willing guests of thineD
Yet Phoebus when of old constrain'd to roamE
The earth an exile from his heav'nly homeE
Enter'd no willing guest Admetus' doorT
Though Hercules had enter'd there beforeT
But gentle Chiron's cave was near a sceneY
Of rural peace clothed with perpetual greenY
And thither oft as respite he requir'dZ
From rustic clamours loud the God retir'dA2
There many a time on Peneus' bank reclin'dB2
At some oak's root with ivy thick entwin'dB2
Won by his hospitable friend's desireC2
He sooth'd his pains of exile with the lyreD2
Then shook the hills then trembled Peneus' shoreT
Nor Oeta felt his load of forests moreT
The upland elms descended to the plainV
And soften'd lynxes wonder'd at the strainV
Well may we think O dear to all aboveE2
Thy birth distinguish'd by the smile of JoveE2
And that Apollo shed his kindliest pow'rF2
And Maia's son on that propitious hourC2
Since only minds so born can comprehendX
A poet's worth or yield that worth a friendX
Hence on thy yet unfaded cheek appearsA
The ling'ring freshness of thy greener yearsA
Hence in thy front and features we admireD2
Nature unwither'd and a mind entireC2
Oh might so true a friend to me belongQ
So skill'd to grace the votaries of songQ
Should I recall hereafter into rhymeE
The kings and heroes of my native climeE
Arthur the chief who even now preparesA
In subterraneous being future warsA
With all his martial Knights to be restor'dG2
Each to his seat around the fed'ral boardG2
And Oh if spirit fail me not disperseA
Our Saxon plund'rers in triumphant verseA
Then after all when with the Past contentH2
A life I finish not in silence spentH2
Should he kind mourner o'er my deathbed bendX
I shall but need to say Be yet my friendX
He faithful to my dust with kind concernI2
Shal place it gently in a modest urnI2
He too perhaps shall bid the marble breatheJ2
To honour me and with the graceful wreathK2
Or of Parnassus or the Paphian isleL2
Shall bind my brows but I shall rest the whileL2
Then also if the fruits of Faith endureM2
And Virtue's promis'd recompense be sureM2
Borne to those seats to which the blest aspireD2
By purity of soul and virtuous fireC2
These rites as Fate permits I shall surveyE2
With eyes illumin'd by celestial dayE2
And ev'ry cloud from my pure spirit driv'nI2
Joy in the bright beatitude of Heav'nI2

William Cowper


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