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ODE TO HORROR.

IN THE ALLEGORIC, DESCRIPTIVE, ALLITERATIVE, EPITHETICAL, FANTASTIC, HYPERBOLICAL, AND DIABOLICAL STYLE OF OUR MODERN ODE-WRIGHTS, AND MONODY-MONGERS.

1 O GODDESS of the gloomy scene,
2 Of shadowy shapes thou black-brow'd queen.
3 Thy tresses dark with ivy crown'd,
4 On yonder mouldering abby found;
5 Oft wont from charnels damp and dim
6 To call the sheeted spectre grim,
7 While as his loose chains loudly clink,
8 Thou add'st a length to every link:
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9 O thou, that lov'st at eve to seek
10 The pensive-pacing pilgrim meek,
11 And set'st before his shuddering eyes
12 Strange forms, and fiends of giant-size,
13 As wildly works thy wizzard will,
14 Till fear-struck Fancy has her fill:
15 Dark power, whose magic might prevails
16 O'er hermit-rocks, and fairy-vales;
17 O Goddess, erst by
x Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. 3. canto 12.
Spenser view'd,
18 What time th' enchanter vile embrued,
19 His hands in Florimel's pure heart,
20 Till loos'd by steel-clad Britomart:
21 O thou that erst on Fancy's wing
22 Didst terror-trembling
y Gierus. Liberat. b. 14.
Tasso bring,
23 To groves where kept damn'd Furies dire
24 Their blue-tipt battlements of fire:
25 Thou that thro' many a darksome pine,
26 O'er the rugged rock recline,
27 Did'st wake the hollow-whispering breeze
28 With care-consumed Eloise:
29 O thou, with whom in chearless cell,
30 The midnight-clock pale pris'ners tell;
31 O haste thee, mild Miltonic maid,
32 From yonder yew's sequester'd shade;
33 More bright than all the fabled Nine,
34 Teach me to breathe the solemn line!
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35 O bid my well-rang'd numbers rise
36 Pervious to none but Attic eyes;
37 O give the strain that madness moves,
38 Till every starting sense approves!
39 What felt the Gallic
z I do not remember that any poetical use has been made of this story.
traveller,
40 When far in Arab-desert drear
41 He found within the catacomb,
42 Alive, the terrors of a tomb?
43 While many a mummy thro' the shade,
44 In hieroglyphic stole array'd,
45 Seem'd to uprear the mystic head,
46 And trace the gloom with ghostly tread;
47 Thou heardst him pour the stifled groan,
48 Horror! his soul was all thy own!
49 O mother of the fire-clad thought,
50 O haste thee from thy grave-like grot!
51 (What time the witch perform'd her rite)
52 Sprung from th' embrace of Taste and Night!
53 O queen! that erst did'st thinly spread
54 The willowy leaves o'er
a See Isis, an Elegy.
Isis' head,
55 And to her meek mien did'st dispense
56 Woe's most awful negligence;
57 What time, in cave, with visage pale,
58 She told her elegiac tale:
59 O thou! whom wandering Warton saw,
60 Amaz'd with more than youthful awe,
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61 As by the pale moon's glimmering gleam
62 He mus'd his melancholy theme
b See The Pleasures of Melancholy, a poem.
:
63 O curfeu-loving goddess, haste!
64 O waft me to some Scythian waste,
65 Where, in Gothic solitude,
66 'Mid prospects most sublimely rude,
67 Beneath a rough rock's gloomy chasm,
68 Thy sister sits, Enthusiasm:
69 Let me with her, in magic trance,
70 Hold most delirious dalliance;
71 Till I, thy pensive votary,
72 Horror, look madly wild like thee;
73 Until I gain true transport's shore,
74 And life's retiring scene is o'er;
75 Aspire to some more azure sky,
76 Remote from dim mortality;
77 At length, recline the fainting head,
78 In Druid-dreams dissolv'd and dead.

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Title (in Source Edition): ODE TO HORROR. IN THE ALLEGORIC, DESCRIPTIVE, ALLITERATIVE, EPITHETICAL, FANTASTIC, HYPERBOLICAL, AND DIABOLICAL STYLE OF OUR MODERN ODE-WRIGHTS, AND MONODY-MONGERS.
Author: Thomas Warton
Themes: poetry; literature; writing; fear
Genres: ode
References: DMI 22202

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Source edition

A collection of poems in four volumes. By several hands. Vol. IV. [The second edition]. London: printed for G. Pearch, 1770, pp. 269-272. 4v. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T116245; DMI 1137; OTA K093079.004)

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