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ODE TO MELANCHOLY.

1 COME, Melancholy! silent power,
2 Companion of my lonely hour,
3 To sober thought confin'd;
4 Thou sweetly sad ideal guest,
5 In all thy soothing charms confest,
6 Indulge my pensive mind.
7 No longer wildly hurried thro'
8 The tides of mirth, that ebb and flow
9 In folly's noisy stream:
10 I from the busy crowd retire,
11 To court the objects that inspire
12 Thy philosophic dream.
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13 Thro' yon dark grove of mournful yews
14 With solitary steps I muse,
15 By thy direction led;
16 Here, cold to pleasure's tempting forms,
17 Consociate with my sister-worms,
18 And mingle with the dead.
19 Ye midnight horrors! awful gloom!
20 Ye silent regions of the tomb!
21 My future peaceful bed:
22 Here shall my weary eyes be clos'd,
23 And every sorrow lie repos'd
24 In death's refreshing shade.
25 Ye pale inhabitants of night,
26 Before my intellectual sight
27 In solemn pomp ascend:
28 O tell how trifling now appears
29 The train of idle hopes and fears
30 That varying life attend!
31 Ye faithless idols of our sense,
32 Here own how vain your fond pretence,
33 Ye empty names of joy!
34 Your transient forms like shadows pass,
35 Frail offspring of the magic glass,
36 Before the mental eye.
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37 The dazzling colours, falsely bright,
38 Attract the gazing vulgar sight
39 With superficial state:
40 Thro' Reason's clearer optics view'd,
41 How stript of all it's pomp, how rude
42 Appears the painted cheat.
43 Can wild Ambition's tyrant power,
44 Or ill-got Wealth's superfluous store,
45 The dread of death controul?
46 Can Pleasure's more bewitching charms
47 Avert or soothe the dire alarms
48 That shake the parting soul?
49 Religion! e'er the hand of Fate
50 Shall make Reflexion plead too late,
51 My erring senses teach,
52 Amidst the flattering hopes of youth,
53 To meditate the solemn truth,
54 These awful relics preach.
55 Thy penetrating beams disperse
56 The mist of error, whence our fears
57 Derive their fatal spring:
58 'Tis thine the trembling heart to warm,
59 And soften to an angel form
60 The pale terrific king.
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61 When sunk by guilt in sad despair,
62 Repentance breathes her humble prayer,
63 And owns thy threatnings just:
64 Thy voice the shuddering suppliant chears,
65 With Mercy calms her torturing fears,
66 And lifts her from the dust.
67 Sublim'd by thee, the soul aspires
68 Beyond the range of low desires,
69 In nobler views elate:
70 Unmov'd her destin'd change surveys,
71 And, arm'd by faith, intrepid pays
72 The universal debt.
73 In Death's soft slumber lull'd to rest,
74 She sleeps, by smiling visions blest,
75 That gently whisper Peace:
76 Till the last morn's fair opening ray
77 Unfolds the bright eternal day
78 Of active life and bliss.

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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): ODE TO MELANCHOLY.
Themes: grief; sadness; melancholy
Genres: ode
References: DMI 32289

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Source edition

A collection of poems in four volumes. By several hands. Vol. I. [The second edition]. London: printed for G. Pearch, 1770, pp. 154-157. 4v. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T116245; DMI 1122)

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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.