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HYMN to ADVERSITY.

1 DAUGHTER of Jove, relentless Pow'r,
2 Thou Tamer of the human breast,
3 Whose iron scourge and tort'ring hour
4 The Bad affright, afflict the Best!
5 Bound in thy adamantine chain
6 The Proud are taught to taste of pain,
7 And purple tyrants vainly groan
8 With pangs unfelt before, unpitied and alone.
9 When first thy Sire to send on earth
10 Virtue, his darling Child, design'd,
11 To thee he gave the heav'nly Birth,
12 And bad to form her infant mind.
13 Stern rugged Nurse! thy rigid lore
14 With patience many a year she bore:
15 What sorrow was, thou bad'st her know,
16 And from her own she learn'd to melt at others' woe.
17 Scared at thy frown terrific, fly
18 Self-pleasing Folly's idle brood,
19 Wild Laughter, Noise, and thoughtless Joy,
20 And leave us leisure to be good.
21 Light they disperse, and with them go
22 The summer Friend, the flatt'ring Foe;
23 By vain Prosperity received,
24 To her they vow their truth, and are again believed.
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25 Wisdom in sable garb array'd,
26 Immers'd in rapt'rous thought profound,
27 And Melancholy, silent maid
28 With leaden eye, that loves the ground,
29 Still on thy solemn steps attend:
30 Warm Charity, the gen'ral friend,
31 With Justice to herself severe,
32 And Pity, dropping soft the sadly-pleasing tear.
33 Oh! gently on thy Suppliant's head,
34 Dread Goddess, lay thy chast'ning hand!
35 Not in thy Gorgon terrors clad,
36 Nor circled with the vengeful Band
37 (As by the Impious thou art seen)
38 With thund'ring voice, and threat'ning mien,
39 With screaming Horror's funeral cry,
40 Despair, and fell Disease, and ghastly Poverty.
41 Thy form benign, oh Goddess, wear,
42 Thy milder influence impart,
43 Thy philosophic Train be there
44 To soften, not to wound my heart,
45 The gen'rous spark extinct revive,
46 Teach me to love, and to forgive,
47 Exact my own defects to scan,
48 What others are to feel, and know myself a man.

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    About this text

    Title (in Source Edition): HYMN to ADVERSITY.
    Author: Thomas Gray
    Themes: hopelessness; vanity of life; grief; sadness; melancholy
    Genres: Miltonic verse; Spenserian stanza; ode
    References: DMI 24572

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    A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. IV. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758], pp. 7-8. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163)

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