1 IF e'er my fingers touch'd the lyre,
2 In satire fierce, in pleasure gay,
3 Shall not my THRALIA'S smiles inspire?
4 Shall SAM refuse the sportive lay?
5 My dearest lady! view your slave,
6 Behold him as your very SCRUB,
7 Eager to write as authour grave,
8 Or govern well the brewing tub.
[Page 12]
9 To rich felicity thus rais'd,
10 My bosom glows with amorous fire;
11 Porter no longer shall be prais'd;
12 'Tis I MYSELF am Thrale's Entire!
13 PIOZZI once alarm'd my fears,
14 Till beauteous MARY'S tragick fate
15 And RIZZIO'S tale dissolv'd in tears
16 My mistress, ere it was too late.
[Page 13]
17 Indignant thought to English pride!
18 That any eye should ever see
19 JOHNSON one moment set aside
20 For Tweedledum or Tweedledee.
21 Congratulating crowds shall come,
22 Our new-born happiness to hail,
23 Whether at ball, at rout, at drum;
24 But human spite will still prevail.
[Page 14]
25 For though they come in pleasing guise,
26 And cry, "The wise deserve the fair!"
27 They look askance with envious eyes,
28 As Satan look'd at the first pair.
29 Ascetick now thy lover lives,
30 Nor dares to touch, nor dares to kiss;
31 Yet prurient fancy sometimes gives
32 A prelibation of our bliss.
[Page 15]
33 Convuls'd in love's tumultuous throws,
34 We feel the aphrodisian spasm;
35 Tir'd nature must, at last, repose,
36 Then Wit and Wisdom fill the chasm.
37 Nor only are our limbs entwin'd,
38 And lip in rapture glued to lip;
39 Lock'd in embraces of the mind;
40 Imagination's sweets we sip.
[Page 16]
41 Five daughters by a former spouse
42 Shall match with nobles of the land;
43 The fruit of our more fervent vows
44 A pillar of the state shall stand!
45 Greater than Atlas was of yore,
46 A nobler charge to me is given;
47 The sphere he on his shoulders bore,
48 I, with my arms, encircle Heaven!


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): ODE.
Author: James Boswell
Genres: ode

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Source edition

Boswell, James, 1740-1795. Johnson, Samuel, 1709-1784. Ode by Dr. Samuel Johnson to Mrs. Thrale, upon their supposed approaching nuptials. London: printed for R. Faulder, 1784, pp. []-16. 16p.; 4⁰. (ESTC T2407; OTA K021475.000)

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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 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 4.0.0.