or else I think this line a feast for one of your Lovers-- How goes it with Brown?
Your sincere friend
My dear Reynolds,
Believe me I have rather rejoiced in your happiness than fretted at your silence. Indeed I am grieved on your account that I am not at the same time happy--But I conjure you to think at present of nothing but pleasure "Gather the rose, &C."2--Gorge the honey of life. I pity you as much that it cannot last for ever, as I do myself now drinking bitters.--Give yourself up to it--you cannot help it--and I have a consolation in thinking so. I never was in love--yet the voice and the shape of a Woman3 has haunted me these two days--at such a time when the relief, the feverous relief of Poetry seems a much less crime --This morning Poetry has conquered--I have relapsed into those abstractions which are my only life--I feel escaped from a new strange and threatening sorrow.--and I am thankful for it.4--There is an awful warmth about my heart like a load of Immortality.____________________
Collige, virgo, rosas dum flos novus et nova pubes.
and Tasso (' Gerusalemme Liberata, XVI. 15, l. 7) has
Cogliam d'amor la rosa.
Burton ( 'Anatomy of Melancholy', Pt. III, Sec. II, Mem. 5. Sub. 5) quotes Ausonius, and Keats in his copy of the book ( Dilke Collection) added in the margin
'Cogliam. la rosa d'amorè'
followed by 'ubique' underlined. So his 'Gather the rose, &c.' is rather Tasso than Herrick ('Gather ye rosebuds while ye may').