ODE ON PLEASURE.
1 HENCE from my sight, unfeeling sage,
2 Hence, to thy lonely hermitage! —
3 There far remov'd from joy, and pain,
4 Supinely slumber life away;
5 Act o'er dull yesterday again,
6 And be thy morrow like to-day.[Page 194]
fRest to thy bones! — While to the gale
—〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉
〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.Soph.
8 Happier I spread my festive wing,
9 And like the wandering bee exhale
10 Fresh odours from Life's honey'd spring;
11 From bloom to bloom in pleasing rapture stray,
12 Where Mirth invites, and Pleasure points the way.
13 Hail, heaven-born virgin, fair and free,
14 Of language mild, of aspect gay,
15 Whose voice the sullen family
16 Of Care and Discontent obey!
17 By thee inspir'd, the simplest scenes,
18 The russet cots, the lowly glens,
19 Mountains, on whose craggy brow
20 Nature's lawless tenants feed,
21 Bushy dells, and streams, that flow
22 Thro' the violet-purpled mead,
23 Delight; thy breath exalts the rich perfumes,
24 That brooding o'er embalm the bean-flower field,
25 Beyond Sabean sweets, and all the gums
26 The spicy desarts of Arabia yield.
27 When the Attic bird complains
28 From the still, attentive grove,
29 Or the linnet breathes his strains,
30 Taught by Nature and by Love;[Page 195]
31 Do thou approve the dulcet airs,
32 And Harmony's soft, silken chain,
33 In willing bondage leads our cares,
34 And binds the giant-sense of Pain:
35 Untun'd by thee, how coarse the long drawn note,
36 Spun from the labouring Eunuch's tortur'd throat!
37 Harsh are the sounds, tho' Farinelli sings;
38 Harsh are the sounds, tho' Handel wakes the strings:
39 Untouch'd by thee, see senseless Florio sits,
40 And stares, and gapes, and nods, and yawns by fits.
41 Oh Pleasure come! — and far, far hence
42 Expel that nun, Indifference! —
43 Where'er she waves her ebon wand,
44 Drencht in the dull Lethaean deep,
45 Behold the marble Passions stand
46 Absorb'd in everlasting sleep!
47 Then from the waste and barren mind
48 The Muse's fairy-phantoms fly;
49 They fly, nor leave a wreck behind
50 Of heaven-descended Poesy:
51 Love's thrilling tumults then are felt no more,
52 Quencht is the generous heat, the rapturous throbs are o'er!
53 'Twas thou, O nymph, that ledd'st along
54 The fair Dione's wanton choir,
55 While to thy blithest, softest song,
56 Ten thousand Cupids strung the lyre:[Page 196]
57 Aloft in air the cherubs play'd,
58 What time, in Cypria's myrtle-shade,
59 Young Adonis slumbering lay
60 On a bed of blushing flowers,
61 Call'd to life by early May,
62 And the rosy-bosomed Hours:
63 The Queen of love beheld her darling boy,
64 In amorous mood she nestled to his side,
65 And thus, to melt his frozen breast to joy,
66 Her wanton art she gayly-smiling try'd.
67 From the musk-rose, wet with dew,
68 And the lilly's opening bell,
69 From fresh eglantine she drew
70 Sweets of aromatic smell:
71 Part of that honey next she took,
g Theoer.Cupid too adventurous stole,
73 When stung his throbbing hand he shook,
74 And felt the anguish to his soul;
75 His mother laught to hear the elf complain,
76 Yet still she pity'd, and reliev'd his pain;
77 She drest the wound with balm of sovereign might,
78 And bath'd him in the well of dear delight:
79 Ah who would fear to be so bath'd in bliss,
80 More agonizing smart, and deeper wounds than this?
81 Her magic zone she next unbound,
82 And wav'd it in the air around:
83 Then cull'd from ever-frolic smiles,
84 That live in Beauty's dimpled cheek,
85 Such sweetness as the heart beguiles,
86 And turns the mighty strong to weak:
87 To these ambrosial dew she join'd,
88 And o'er the flame of warm desire,
89 Fann'd by soft sighs, Love's gentlest wind,
90 Dissolv'd, and made the charm entire;
91 O'er her moist lips, that blush'd with heavenly red,
92 The Graces' friendly hand the blest ingredients spread.
III. 2.[Page 198]
93 Adonis wak'd — he saw the fair,
94 And felt unusual tumults rise;
95 His bosom heav'd with amorous care,
96 And humid languor veil'd his eyes!
97 Driven by some strong impulsive power,
98 He sought the most sequester'd bower,
99 Where diffus'd on Venus' breast,
100 First he felt extatic bliss,
101 First her balmy lips he prest,
102 And devour'd the new-made Kiss:
103 But, O my Muse, thy tattling tongue restrain,
104 Her sacred rites what mortal dares to tell?
105 She crowns the silent, leads the blabbing swain
106 To doubts, desires, and fears, the feverish lover's hell.
107 Change then, sweetest nymph of nine,
108 Change the song, and fraught with pleasures,
109 String anew thy silver twine,
110 To the softest, Lydian measures!
111 My Cynthia calls, whose natal hour
112 Th' assistant Graces saw, and smil'd;
113 Then deign'd this Cyprian charm to pour
114 With lavish bounty o'er the child:
115 Sithence where'er the Siren moves along,
116 In pleasing wonder chain'd is every tongue;
117 Love's soft effusion dims the aching eyes,
118 Love's subtlest flame thro' every artery flies:
119 Our trembling limbs th' unequal pulse betray,
120 We gaze in transport lost — then faint, and die away,
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): ODE ON PLEASURE.
Author: James Scott
References: DMI 31233
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