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1 NOW yellow autumn's leafy ruins lie
2 In faded splendor, on deserted plains,
3 Far from the madding crowd, alone I fly,
4 To wake in solitude the mystic strains.
5 On themes of high import I dare to sing,
6 While Fate impels my hand to strike the trembling string.
7 Bright on my harp the meteors gleam,
8 As through the shades they glancing shine;
9 Now the winds howl, the night birds scream,
10 And yelling ghosts the chorus join:
11 Chimeras dire, from fancy's deepest hell,
12 Fly o'er yon hallow'd tow'r, and toll the passing bell.
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13 November hears the dismal sound,
14 As slow advancing from the pole;
15 He leads the months their wintry round;
16 See black'ning clouds attendant roll,
17 Where frowns a giant band, the sons of care,
18 Dark thoughts, presages fell, and comfortless despair!
19 O'er Britain's isle they spread their wings,
20 And shades of death dismay the land;
21 November wide his mantle flings,
22 And lifting high his vengeful hand,
23 Hurls down the demon Spleen, with pow'rs combin'd,
24 To check the springs of life, and crush the enfeebled mind.
25 His drear dominion he maintains,
26 Beneath a cold inclement sky;
27 While noxious fogs, and drizzling rains,
28 On Nature's sick'ning bosom lie.
29 The op'ning rose of youth untimely fades,
30 And Hope's fair friendly light beams dimly thro' the shades.
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31 Now prowls abroad the ghastly fiend,
32 Fell Suicide, whom Frenzy bore;
33 His brows with writhing serpents twin'd;
34 His mantle steep'd in human gore!
35 The livid flames around his eye-balls play,
36 Stern Horror stalks before, and Death pursues his way!
37 Hark! is not that the fatal stroke?
38 See where the bleeding victim lies;
39 The bonds of social feeling broke,
40 Dismay'd the frantic spirit flies:
41 Creation starts, and[ shrinking] Nature views
42 Appall'd[,] the blow which heav'n's first right subdues.
43 Behold! the weight of woes combin'd,
44 A woman has the power to scorn;
45 Her infant race to shame consign'd,
46 A name disgrac'd, a fortune torn,
47 She meets resolv'd; and combating despair,
48 Supports alone the ills a coward durst not share.
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49 On languid Luxury and Pride
50 The subtle fiend employs his spell;
51 Where selfish, sordid passions bide,
52 Where weak impatient spirits dwell;
53 Where thought oppressive from itself would fly,
54 And seeks relief from time in dark eternity.
55 Far from the scenes of guilt and death
56 My wearied spirit seeks to rest;
57 Why sudden stops my struggling breath,
58 Why heaves so strong my aching breast?
59 Hark! sounds of horror sweep the troubled glade!
60 Far on a whirlwind borne the fatal month is fled!
61 I watch'd his flight, and saw him bear
62 To Saturn's orb the sullen band;
63 Where winter chills the ling'ring year,
64 And gloom eternal shades the land.
65 On a lone rock, far in a stormy main,
66 In cheerless prison pent, I heard the ghosts complain.
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67 Some power unseen denies my verse
68 The hallow'd veil of fate to rend;
69 Now sudden blasts the sounds disperse,
70 And Fancy's inspirations end:
71 While rushing winds in wild discordance jar,
72 Old Hyem calls the storms around his icy car.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): NOVEMBER, 1784.
Genres: ode

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Source edition

Hunter, Anne Home (Mrs. John), 1742-1821. Poems, by Mrs. John Hunter. London: Printed for T. Payne, Mews Gate, by T. Bensley, Bolt Court, Fleet Street, 1802, pp. [1]-5.  (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [280 e.4058].)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

Other works by Anne Hunter (née Home)