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A Pindarick, to the Athenian Society.

1 I'VE toucht each string, each muse I have invok't,
2 Yet still the mighty theam,
3 Copes my unequal praise;
4 Perhaps, the God of Numbers is provok't.
5 I grasp a Subject fit for none but him,
6 Or Drydens sweeter lays;
7 Dryden! A name I ne're could yet rehearse,
8 But straight my thoughts were all transformed to verse.
9 And now methinks I rise;
10 But still the lofty Subject baulks my slight,
11 And still my muse despairs to do great Athens right;
12 Yet takes the Zealous Tribute which I bring,
13 The early products of a Female muse;
14 Untill the God, into my breast shall mightier thoughts infuse.
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15 When I with more Command, and prouder voice shall sing;
16 But how shall I describe the matchless men?
17 I'm lost in the bright labirinth agen.
18 When the lewd age, as ignorant as accurst,
19 Arriv'd in vice and error to the worst,
20 And like Astrea banisht from the stage,
21 Virtue and Truth were ready stretcht for slight;
22 Their numerous foes,
23 Scarce one of eithers Champions ventur'd to oppose;
24 Scarce one brave mind, durst openly engage,
25 To do them right.
26 Till prompted with a generous rage;
27 You cop't with all th' abuses of the age;
28 Unmaskt and challeng'd its abhorred crimes,
29 Nor fear'd to dash the darling vices of the times.
30 Successfully go on,
31 T' inform and bless mankind as you've begun,
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32 Till like your selves they see;
33 The frantick world's imagin'd Joys to be,
34 Unmanly, sensual and effeminate,
35 Till they with such exalted thoughts possest;
36 As you've inspir'd into my willing Breast,
37 Are charm'd, like me, from the impending fate.
38 For ah! Forgive me Heaven, I blush to say't,
39 I with the vulgar world thought Irreligion great,
40 Tho fine my breeding, and my Notions high;
41 Tho train'd in the bright tracts of strictest piety,
42 I' like my splendid tempters soon grew vain,
43 And laid my slighted innocence a side;
44 Yet oft my nobler thoughts I have bely'd,
45 And to be ill was even reduc'd to feign.
46 Untill by you,
47 With more Heroick sentiments inspir'd,
48 I turn'd and stood the vigorous torrent too,
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49 And at my former weak retreat admir'd;
50 So much was I by your example fir'd,
51 So much the heavenly form did win:
52 Which to my eyes you'd painted virtue in.
53 Oh, could my verse;
54 With equal flights, to after times rehearse,
55 Your fame: It should as bright and Deathless be;
56 As that immortal flame you've rais'd in me.
57 A flame which time:
58 And Death it self, wants power to controul,
59 Not more sublime,
60 Is the divine composure of my Soul;
61 A friendship so exalted and immense,
62 A female breast did ne're before commence.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): A Pindarick, to the Athenian Society.
Themes: poetry; literature; writing
Genres: ode

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Source edition

Poems on several occasions. Written by Philomela. London: Printed for John Dunton at the Raven in Jewen-street, 1696, pp. 15-18. [24],72,69,[11]p.; 8⁰ (ESTC R7317; OTA A57734)

Editorial principles

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.

Other works by Elizabeth Rowe (née Singer)