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ODE to INDOLENCE,

1750.

1 AH! why for ever on the wing
2 Persists my weary'd soul to roam?
3 Why, ever cheated, strives to bring
4 Or pleasure or contentment home?
5 Thus the poor bird, that draws his name
6 From paradise's honour'd groves,
7 Ceaseless fatigues his little frame;
8 Nor finds the resting place he loves.
9 Lo! on the rural mossy bed
10 My limbs with careless ease reclin'd;
11 Ah, gentle Sloth! indulgent spread
12 The same soft bandage o'er my mind.
13 For why should lingering thought invade,
14 Yet every worldly prospect cloy?
15 Lend me, soft Sloth, thy friendly aid,
16 And give me peace, debarr'd of joy.
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17 Lov'st thou yon calm and silent flood,
18 That never ebbs, that never flows;
19 Protected by the circling wood
20 From each tempestuous wind that blows?
21 An altar on its bank shall rise,
22 Where oft thy votary shall be found;
23 What time pale Autumn lulls the skies,
24 And sickening verdure fades around.
25 Ye busy, race, ye factious train,
26 That haunt Ambition's guilty shrine;
27 No more perplex the world in vain,
28 But offer here your vows with mine.
29 And thou, puissant Queen! be kind:
30 If e'er I shar'd thy balmy pow'r;
31 If e'er I sway'd my active mind,
32 To weave for Thee the rural bow'r;
33 Dissolve in sleep each anxious care;
34 Each unavailing sigh remove;
35 And only let me wake to share
36 The sweets of Friendship and of Love.

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    About this text

    Title (in Source Edition): ODE to INDOLENCE, 1750.
    Themes: rural life; contentment; virtue; vice
    Genres: ode
    References: DMI 27210

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    Source edition

    A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. V. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758], pp. 19-20. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163; OTA K104099.005)

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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.

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