[Page 299]

ODE to NIGHT.

1 THE busy cares of day are done;
2 In yonder western cloud the sun
3 Now sets, in other worlds to rise,
4 And glad with night the nether skies.
5 With ling'ring pace the parting day retires,
6 And slowly leaves the mountain tops, and gilded spires.
7 Yon azure cloud, enrob'd with white,
8 Still shoots a gleam of fainter light:
9 At length descends a browner shade;
10 At length the glimm'ring objects fade:
11 'Till all submit to NIGHT'S impartial reign,
12 And undistinguish'd darkness covers all the plain.
13 No more the ivy-crowned oak
14 Resounds beneath the wood-man's stroke.
15 Now Silence holds her solemn sway;
16 Mute is each bush, and ev'ry spray:
17 Nought but the sound of murm'ring rills is heard,
18 Or from the mould'ring tow'r, NIGHT'S solitary bird.
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19 Hail sacred hour of peaceful rest!
20 Of pow'r to charm the troubled breast!
21 By thee the captive slave obtains
22 Short respite from his galling pains;
23 Nor sighs for liberty, nor native soil;
24 But for a while forgets his chains, and sultry toil.
25 No horrors hast thou in thy train,
26 No scorpion lash, no clanking chain.
27 When the pale murd'rer round him spies
28 A thousand grisly forms arise,
29 When shrieks and groans arouse his palsy'd fear,
30 'Tis guilt alarms his soul, and conscience wounds his ear.
31 The village swain whom Phillis charms,
32 Whose breast the tender passion warms,
33 Wishes for thy all-shadowing veil,
34 To tell the fair his love-sick tale:
35 Nor less impatient of the tedious day,
36 She longs to hear his tale, and sigh her soul away.
37 Oft by the covert of thy shade
38 LEANDER woo'd the THRACIAN maid;
39 Thro' foaming seas his passion bore,
40 Nor fear'd the ocean's thund'ring roar.
41 The conscious virgin from the sea-girt tow'r
42 Hung out the faithful torch to guide him to her bow'r.
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43 Oft at thy silent hour the sage
44 Pores on the fair instructive page;
45 Or rapt in musings deep, his soul
46 Mounts active to the starry pole:
47 There pleas'd to range the realms of endless night,
48 Numbers the stars, or marks the comet's devious light.
49 Thine is the hour of converse sweet,
50 When sprightly wit and reason meet:
51 Wit, the fair blossom of the mind,
52 But fairer still with reason join'd.
53 Such is the feast thy social hours afford,
54 When eloquence and GRANVILLE join the friendly board.
55 GRANVILLE, whose polish'd mind is fraught
56 With all that ROME or GREECE e'er taught;
57 Who pleases and instructs the ear,
58 When he assumes the critic's chair,
59 Or from the STAGYRITE or PLATO draws
60 The arts of civil life, the spirit of the laws.
61 O let me often thus employ
62 The hour of mirth and social joy!
63 And glean from GRANVILLE'S learned store
64 Fair science and true wisdom's lore.
65 Then will I still implore thy longer stay,
66 Nor change thy festive hours for sunshine and the day.

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    About this text

    Title (in Source Edition): ODE to NIGHT.
    Themes: night; wit
    Genres: ode
    References: DMI 26685

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    Source edition

    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. 299-301. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163; OTA K104099.004) (Page images digitized by the Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive from a copy in the archive's library.)

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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.