ODE TO MELANCHOLY.
1 REMOTE from those enchanting bowers,
2 Where dance the nimble-footed hours,
3 Where revels frantic Folly;
4 To thee I bring the tribute tear,
5 Visits the muse thy mansions drear,
6 Heart-searching Melancholy.
7 By thee inspir'd, by Fancy led,
8 Thy hallowed ground I seem to tread,
9 Where o'er the joyless plain
10 The aether sheds its blackest hue,
11 And here and there a lonely yew
12 Marks Melancholy's reign.
13 Where chearful gales forget to blow,
14 Pellucid currents cease to flow,
15 The cloud-capt mountain's height
16 All avenues of the dreary way
17 Secures from each pervading ray
18 Of soul-enlivening light.
19 Where Grief sad social solace seeks,
20 The rose has fled her meagre cheeks,
21 And hollow is her eye;
22 Care on her lap reclines his head,
23 Whilst hovering round the restless bed
24 The wing'd chimeras fly.
25 Rack'd with ideal tortures Spleen
26 A thousand fiends unknown, unseen,
27 With shadowy faulchions scare;
28 This rends her breast, that goads her sides,
29 And every hag of Fancy rides
30 The phantom thro' the air.
31 Hark, softly stealing on the ear
32 The hollow sigh, the dropping tear,
33 The music of Despair;
34 Not lovers sorrow-mocking sighs,
35 Or mimic Grief that melts the eyes
36 Of youthful widowed fair.
37 Sorrows that orphan bosoms pierce,
38 Pour'd o'er a tender parent's hearse,
39 Snatch'd by unpitying fate;
40 No fostering hand's kind solace nigh,
41 Each summer friend with wayward eye
42 Surveys their helpless state.
43 Thus the vague group of vernal flies,
44 While Titan gilds the cloudless skies,
45 Sport in the glistening ray:
46 The spiendid scene once overcast
47 By lowering cloud, or adverse blast,
48 Each insect veers away.
49 When Pleasure's madding tide o'erswells
50 The rapt breast, to those doleful cells
51 Of misery let me stray;
52 There shall thought-fostering Solitude,
53 Whilst no fantastic joys intrude,
54 Each devious step recal to Virtue's rugged way.
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): ODE TO MELANCHOLY.
Author: Richard Shepherd
Themes: grief; sadness; melancholy
References: DMI 32305
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