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Ode to Despair. From the Novel of Emmeline.

1 THOU spectre of terrific mein,
2 Lord of the hopeless heart and hollow eye,
3 In whose fierce train each form is seen
4 That drives sick Reason to insanity!
5 I woo thee with unusual pray'r,
6 'Grim visag'd, comfortless Despair!'
7 Approach; in me a willing victim find,
8 Who seeks thine iron sway and calls thee kind!
9 Ah! hide forever from my sight
10 The faithless flatt'rer Hope whose pencil, gay,
11 Pourtrays some vision of delight,
12 Then bids the fairy tablet fade away;
13 While in dire contrast, to mine eyes
14 Thy phantoms, yet more hideous, rise,
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15 And Mem'ry draws, from Pleasure's wither'd flow'r,
16 Corrosives for the heart of fatal pow'r!
17 I bid the traitor Love, adieu!
18 Who to this fond, believing bosom came,
19 A guest insidious and untrue,
20 With Pity's soothing voice in Friendship's name;
21 The wounds he gave, nor Time shall cure,
22 Nor Reason teach me to endure:
23 And to that breast mild Patience pleads in vain,
24 Which feels the curse of meriting its pain.
25 Yet not to me, tremendous pow'r!
26 Thy worst of spirit wounding pangs impart,
27 With which, in dark Conviction's hour,
28 Thou strik'st the guilty, unrepentant heart!
29 But of illusion long the sport,
30 That dreary, tranquil gloom I court,
31 Where my past errors I may still deplore,
32 And dream of long lost Happiness no more!
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33 To thee I give this tortur'd breast,
34 Where Hope arises but to foster pain;
35 Ah! lull its agonies to rest!
36 Ah! let me never be deceiv'd again!
37 But callous, in thy deep repose
38 Behold, in long array, the woes.
39 Of the dread future, calm and undismay'd,
40 Till I may claim the Hope that shall not fade!

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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): Ode to Despair. From the Novel of Emmeline.
Themes:
Genres: ode

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Source edition

Elegiac sonnets, and other poems. By Charlotte Smith. The first Worcester edition, from the sixth London edition, with additions. Printed at Worcester [Mass.]: by Isaiah Thomas, sold by him in Worcester, and by said Thomas and Andrews in Boston, 1795, pp. 80-82. xix,[2],22-126,[2]p.,[5] leaves of plates: ill.; 15 cm. (12mo) (OTA N22357)

Editorial principles

The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.

Other works by Charlotte Smith (née Turner)