"BUT yonder breathing Prospect bids the Muse / Throw all her Beauty forth, that Daubing all / Will be to what I gaze; for who can paint / Like Nature? Can Imagination boast / Amid his gay Creation Hues like Her's? / And can He mix them with that matchless Skill, / And lay them on so delicately sweet, / And lose them in each other, as appears / In every Bud that blows?"
— Thomson, James (1700-1748)
Throw all her Beauty forth, that Daubing all
Will be to what I gaze; for who can paint
Like Nature? Can Imagination boast
Amid his gay Creation Hues like Her's?
And can He mix them with that matchless Skill,
And lay them on so delicately sweet,
And lose them in each other, as appears
In every Bud that blows? If Fancy then
Unequal fails beneath the lovely Task;
Ah what shall Language do? Ah where find Words
Ting'd with so many Colours? And whose Power
To Life approaching, may perfume my Lays
With that fine Oil, these aromatic Gales,
Which inexhaustive flow continual round.
Poem first published Spring. A Poem. By Mr. Thomson (London: Printed and sold by A. Millar, at Buchanan's Head over-against St. Clement's Church in the Strand; and G. Strahan, at the Golden Ball in Cornhill, 1728). <Link to ECCO>
Text revised and expanded between 1728 and 1746. Searching text from The Poetical Works (1830), checked against earlier editions. Also reading James Sambrook's edition of The Seasons and The Castle of Indolence (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), which reproduces the 1746 edition of Thomson's poem.
Collected in The Seasons, A Hymn, A Poem to the Memory of Sir Isaac Newton, and Britannia, a Poem. By Mr. Thomson (1730). <Link to ECCO>