Gentleman's Magazine on Spring Gardens (1732)

Cave, Edward
Top half of Volume One, Issue One, published January 1731.


"To these fair shades see Belles and Beaus advance,
Some sigh, some sing, some whistle, and some dance."

Spring Gardens

When April show'rs refresh the youthful spring,
And breezes waft on gentle Zephyr's wing,
When silver streams in soft meanders play,
When nature smiles, and all the world is gay;
From Drury's bounds see shining throngs repair
With borrow'd charms to breath in sweeter air;
From stinking rags, and lofty garret free'd,
Lo! Oyster Betty shines in stiff Brocade.
See Fops and Haggs dress out, a glitt'ring show!
Each Barber's prentice makes a powder'd beau.
To Thames they croud where oars and skullers wait,
And proudly strive to catch the noble freight;
But ah! hard fate for oars, a gen'ral call
Proclaims the price, so skullers take them all.
Now the glad pinnace bounds with wanton pride,
Darts from the shore, and beats the foaming tide,
With joy they're driven by a prosperous gale,
While the glad Boatswain tells a bawdy tale;
At Vauxhall stairs they land, their passage pay,
And to Spring-Gardens, tread the beck'ning way.
   'Hail pleasing shades! O hail thou secret grove!
The blest retreat of Liberty and Love.
All hail, ye bow'rs! ye beaut'ous Silvan Scenes,
Ye grotts, and mazes of fresh blooming greens;
Here dwells no care, no matrimonial strife,
The peevish husband, nor the bawling wife;
Here's no restraint to make our pleasures cloy,
We part at will, and as we please enjoy.
See how the birds by nature taught do rove,
How sweet they sing, and how like us they love.
With careless ease they hop from tree to tree,
And are as merry, and as blest as we.
Thrice happy state! each am'rous Trulla says,
And baits with poison all the various ways;
The walks are fill'd with throngs of diff'rent sort,
From Fleet streetDrury, and incog. from Court.
   To these fair shades see Belles and Beaus advance,
Some sigh, some sing, some whistle, and some dance.
A courteous Lady, who for long had been
Some kind good-natur'd Dame in Drury-lane,
Was now addrest, by two young handsome cits,
Who love new fashions, and who hate the wit,
To her they bow'd, then with a desp'rate sigh
Says one, Your charming love, or let me dye;
To them with thund'ring march a captain comes,
'Surrender there. The cits now trembling run,
And fly like small shot scatt'ring from a gun.
A Lawyer next, who heard the soldier storm,
Inspir'd by Cupid, and with Bachus warm;
Whisper'd in Cloe's ear to swear a rape,
And by this point of law, gain'd her escape;
He tips the fee, but proves an awkward rake,
So ungenteel he gives, what he so well can take.
Next a Physician with his rambling eyes
Between two spreading trees a Mopsa spies,
Her pulse he feels, and with a quacklike air,
'By all that's good, says he, you're ill my dear,
But come, cheer up, my instrument shall prove
Your certain cure, for you're but sick for love.
A saint like vicar last, who only came
Disguis'd to preach, and all the rest condemn,
Fir'd by a trull, not one grave sentence said;
But gave the wink and sneak'd into a shade;
In sep'rate places each expells his flame,
Now loaths the place to which with joy he came,
The reck'ning call'd appears a tedious score,
The belles, the shades, the birds delight no more;
Home they retire to mourn their threatning ills,
And learn to live, on gruelbroth, and pills.


Taken from  The Gentleman's Magazine, II, n°18 (June 1732), p. 820. Full text of vol. 2 (1732) and of all volumes by HATHI TRUST.