Mirth (Smart)

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For works with similar titles, see Mirth.
Hymn XXV. Mirth  (1771) 
by Christopher Smart
From the Hymns for the Amusement of Children (1771).
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                HYMN XXV.               

MIRTH.


If you are merry sing away,
      And touch the organs sweet;
This is the Lord's triumphant day,
Ye children in the gall'ries gay,
      5 Shout from each goodly seat.

It shall be May to-morrow's morn,[1]
      A field then let us run,
And deck us in[2] the blooming thorn,
Soon as the cock begins to warn,[3]
      10 And long before the sun.

I give the praise to Christ alone,
      My pinks already show;
And my streak'd roses fully blown,
The sweetness of the Lord make known,
      15 And to his glory grow.

Ye little prattlers that repair
      For cowslips in the mead,
Of those exulting colts beware,
But blythe security is there,
      20 Where skipping lambkins feed.

With white and crimson laughs the sky,[4]
      With birds the hedge-rows ring;
To give the praise to God most High,
And all the sulky fiends defy,
      25 Is a most joyful thing.


1771


Notes

As Karina Williamson noticed, this Hymn "was perhaps designed as a general celebration of Christ's triumph in the Resurrection and Ascention (Ascention Day fell on 30 April in 1761)".

  1. 5. "It shall be May to-morrow's morn..." — this makes clear that the Hymn was intended for the celebration on 30th April.
  2. 8. "in" — was replaced with "with" in ed. 1786.
  3. 8—9. The thorn as well as the crowing cock have both Biblical allusions.
  4. 21. "white and crimson" — are colours associated with the Passion in Religious poetry thet probably rerived from the Song of Solomon 5:10: "My beloved is white and ruddy..."
This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.