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Who stalks his round, an hideous form,
Howling amidst the midnight storm,
Or throws him on the ridgy steep
Of some loose hanging rock to sleep.
And with him thousand phantoms joined,
Who prompt to deeds accursed the mind;
And those, the fiends who, near allied,
O'er Nature's wounds and wrecks preside,
Whilst Vengeance, in the lurid air,
Lifts her red arm, exposed and bare;
On whom that rav'ning brood of Fate,
Who lap the blood of Sorrow, wait.
Who, Fear, this ghastly train can see,
And look not madly wild, like thee?

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EPODE

In earliest Greece to thee, with partial choice,

The grief-full Muse addrest her infant tongue; The maids and matrons on her awful voice,

Silent and pale, in wild amazement hung.

Yet he, the bard who first invoked thy name,

30 Disdained in Marathon its pow'r to feel; For not alone he nursed the poet's flame,

But reached from Virtue's hand the patriot's steel.

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But who is he whom later garlands grace,

Who left a while o'er Hybla's dews to rove, With trembling eyes thy dreary steps to trace,

Where thou and Furies shared the baleful grove?

Wrapt in thy cloudy veil, th' incestuous queen

Sighed the sad call her son and husband heard, When once alone it broke the silent scene,

And he, the wretch of Thebes, no more appeared.

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O Fear, I know thee by my throbbing heart;

Thy with'ring pow'r inspired each mournful line; Though gentle Pity claim her mingled part,

Vet all the thunders of the scene are thine!

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ANTISTROPHE

Thou who such weary lengths hast passed,
Where wilt thou rest, mad nymph, at last?
Say, wilt thou shroud in haunted cell,
Where gloomy Rape and Murder dwell?
Or in some hollowed seat,

50 'Gainst which the big waves beat, Hear drowning seamen's cries, in tempests brought? Dark pow'r, with shudd'ring, meek, submitted thought Be mine to read the visions old Which thy awak’ning bards have told,

55 And, lest thou meet my blasted view, Hold each strange tale devoutly true! Ne'er be I found, by thee o'erawed, In that thrice-hallowed eve abroad When ghosts, as cottage maids believe, Their pebbled beds permitted leave, And goblins haunt, from fire, or fen, Or mine, or flood, the walks of men!

O thou whose spirit most possest The sacred seat of Shakespear's breast,

65 By all that from thy prophet broke, In thy divine emotions spoke, Hither again thy fury deal! Teach me but once like him to feel, His cypress wreath my meed decree, And I, O Fear, will dwell with thee!

1746.

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ODE TO SIMPLICITY
O thou by Nature taught

To breathe her genuine thought,
In numbers warmly pure and sweetly strong;

Who first, on mountains wild,

In Fancy, loveliest child,
Thy babe or Pleasure's, nursed the pow'rs of song!

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Thou who with hermit heart

Disdain'st the wealth of art,
And gauds, and pageant weeds, and trailing pall;

IO

But com'st a decent maid,

In Attic robe arrayed,
O chaste, unboastful nymph, to thee I call !

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By all the honeyed store

On Hybla's thymy shore,
By all her blooms and mingled murmurs dear;

By her whose lovelorn woe,

In ev'ning musings slow,
Soothed sweetly sad Electra's poet's ear;

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By old Cephisus deep,

Who spread his wavy sweep,
In warbled wand'rings round thy green retreat;

On whose enamelled side

When holy Freedom died,
No equal haunt allured thy future feet;

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O sister meek of Truth,

To my admiring youth
Thy sober aid and native charms infuse!

The flow'rs that sweetest breathe,

Though Beauty culled the wreath,
Still ask thy hand to range their ordered hues.

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While şome could none esteem

But virtue's patriot theme,
You loved her hills, and led her laureate band;

But staid to sing alone

To one distinguished throne,
And turned thy face and fled her altered land.

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No more, in hall or bow'r,

The passions own thy pow'r;
Love, only love, her forceless numbers mean:

For thou hast left her shrine;

Nor olive more, nor vine,
Shall gain thy feet to bless the servile scene.

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Though taste, though genius bless

To some divine excess,
Faints the cold work till thou inspire the whole:

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What each, what all supply,

May court, may charm our eye;
Thou, only thou, canst raise the meeting soul!

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Of these let others ask,

To aid some mighty task;
I only seek to find thy temp'rate vale,

Where oft my reed might sound

To maids and shepherds round,
And all thy sons, O Nature, learn my tale.

1746.

ODE ON THE POETICAL CHARACTER

STROPHE

IO

As once-if not with light regard
I read aright that gifted bard
(Him whose school above the rest
His loveliest Elfin Queen has blest)
One, only one, unrivalled fair

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Might hope the magic girdle wear,
At solemn tourney hung on high,

The wish of each love-darting eye;
Lo! to each other nymph in turn applied,

As if, in air unseen, some hov'ring hand,
Some chaste and angel friend to virgin fame,

With whispered spell had burst the starting band, It left unblest her loathed, dishonoured side;

Happier, hopeless fair, if never
Her baffled hand, with vain endeavour,

15 Had touched that fatal zone to her denied ! Young Fancy thus, to me divinest name,

To whom, prepared and bathed in heav'n,
The cest of amplest pow'r is giv'n,
To few the godlike gift assigns

To gird their blest, prophetic loins,
And gaze her visions wild, and feel unmixed her flame!

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EPODE

The band, as fairy legends say,
Was wove on that creating day

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When He Who called with thought to birth
Yon tented sky, this laughing earth,
And drest with springs and forests tall,
And poured the main engirting all,
Long by the loved enthusiast wooed,
Himself in some diviner mood,
Retiring, sate with her alone,
And placed her on his sapphire throne,
The whiles, the vaulted shrine around,
Seraphic wires were heard to sound,
Now sublimest triumph swelling,
Now on love and mercy dwelling;
And she, from out the veiling cloud,
Breathed her magic notes aloud,
And thou, thou rich-haired Youth of Morn,
And all thy subject life, was born!
The dang'rous passions kept aloof,
Far from the sainted growing woof:
But near it sate ecstatic Wonder,
List’ning the deep applauding thunder;
And Truth, in sunny vest arrayed,
By whose the tarsel's eyes were made;
All the shad'wy tribes of mind,
In braided dance, their murmurs joined,
And all the bright uncounted pow'rs
Who feed on heav'n's ambrosial flow'rs.
Where is the bard whose soul can now
Its high presuming hopes avow?
Where he who thinks, with rapture blind,
This hallowed work for him designed?

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ANTISTROPHE

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High on some cliff, to heav'n up-piled,
Of rude access, of prospect wild,
Where, tangled round the jealous steep,
Strange shades o'erbrow the valleys deep,
And holy genii guard the rock,
Its glooms embrown, its springs unlock,
While on its rich ambitious head

An Eden, like his own, lies spread,
I view that oak, the fancied glades among,

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