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An ODE.

1 GENTLE, idle, trifling boy,
2 Sing of pleasures, sing of joy!
3 Well you paint the crystal spring,
4 Well the flow'ry meadow sing.
5 But beware with bolder flight,
6 Tempt not heaven's unequal height;
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7 But beware! with impious strain,
8 Mock not freedom's hallow'd train!
9 Sacred, here, O! ever be
10 Heaven, and heaven-born liberty!
11 Let the slaves of lawless sway,
12 Let the stupid flock obey!
13 Pent within a narrow fold,
14 Ty'd, and stript, and slain, and sold.
15 Happier stars the brave befriend,
16 Britons know a nobler end.
17 Theirs it is to temper laws,
18 Theirs to watch in freedom's cause,
19 Theirs one common good to share,
20 Theirs to feel one common care;
21 In the glorious task combin'd,
22 From the monarch to the hind.
23 Yet O! cease not gentle boy!
24 Sing of pleasures, sing of joy!
25 Like thy brothers of the wing,
26 Idly hop, and chirp, and sing.
27 Heaven can nothing vain produce,
28 Ev'ry creature has its use.
29 Thine it is to sooth our toil,
30 Thine to make e'en wisdom smile.
31 Much they err who such despise,
32 Trifles please the truly wise.

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    About this text

    Title (in Source Edition): An ODE.
    Themes: liberty; patriotism; glory of the British nation
    Genres: ode
    References: DMI 22429

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    Source edition

    A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. II. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758], pp. 215-216. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163; OTA K104099.002)

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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.