1 OH nymph, long sought, of placid mien,
2 With careless step, and brow serene!
3 I woo thee from the tufted bowers,
4 Where listless pass thy easy hours
5 Or, if a Naïade of the silver wave
6 Thou rather lov'st thy pearly limbs to lave
7 In some clear lake, whose fascinating face
8 Lures the soft willow to its pure embrace!
9 Or, if beneath the gelid rock
10 Thy smiles all human sorrows mock,
11 Where'er thou art, in earth or air,
12 Oh! come, and chase the fiend DESPAIR!
13 Have I not mark'd thee on the green
14 Roving, by vulgar eyes unseen?
15 Have I not watch'd thy lightsome dance
16 When Evening's soften'd glows advance?
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17 Dear Goddess, yes! and whilst the Rustic's mirth
18 Proclaims the hour which gives wild gambols birth,
19 Supine, I've found thee in the elm-row's shade,
20 Lull'd by the hum returning bees have made,
21 Who, chary of their golden spoils,
22 Finish their fragrant, rosy toils,
23 With rest-inviting, slumb'rous song,
24 As to their waxen couch they throng.
25 Chaste Nymph! the Temple let me seek
26 Where thou resid'st in lustre meek;
27 My future life to thee I give
28 Irradiate ev'ry hour I live!
29 'Tis true, no glowing bliss thy vot'ries know,
30 From thee no poignant ecstacy can flow,
31 But oh! thoushield'st the heart from rankling pain,
32 And Mis'ry strikes, when bless'd with thee, in vain;
33 Wan Jealousy's empoisoning tooth,
34 And Love, which feeds upon our youth,
35 And holy Friendship's broken tie,
36 Ne'er dim the lustre of thy eye.
37 For thee, it is, all Nature blooms,
38 For thee, the Spring new charms assumes,
39 Nor vainly flings her blossoms round,
40 Nor vainly bids her groves resound;
41 Her music, colours, odours, all are thine,
42 To thee her months their richest gifts consign;
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43 To thee the morn is bright, and sweet the ray
44 That marks the progress of the sinking day;
45 Each change is grateful to thy soul,
46 For its fine taste no woes control;
47 The powers of Nature, and of Art,
48 Alike entrance the easy heart.
49 And oh! beneath thy gentle dome,
50 Which the calm comforts make their home,
51 That cruel imp is never found
52 Whose fame such idle songs resound
53 Dread SENSIBILITY! Oh! let me fly
54 Where Greenland darkness drinks the beamy sky,
55 Or where the Sun, with downward torrid ray
56 Kills, with the barb'rous glories of the day!
57 I'd dare th' excess of ev'ry clime,
58 Grasp ev'ry evil known by Time,
59 Ere live beneath that Witch's spells
60 With whom no lasting pleasure dwells.
61 Her lovely form deceives the heart,
62 The tear, for ever prompt to start,
63 The tender look, the ready sigh
64 And soft emotion always nigh;
65 And yet Content th' insidious fiend forbids
66 Oh! she has torn the slumbers from my lids:
67 Oft rous'd my torpid sense to living woe,
68 And bid chill anguish to my bosom grow.
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69 She seals her prey! in vain the Spring
70 Wakes Rapture, thro' her groves to sing;
71 The roseate Morn's hygean bloom,
72 Fades down, unmark'd, to Evening's gloom.
73 Oh SENSIBILITY! thy sceptre sad
74 Points, where the frantic glance proclaims THE MAD!
75 Strain'd to excess, Reason is chain'd thy slave,
76 Or the poor Victim, shuns thee in the grave;
77 To thee each crime, each evil owes its birth,
78 That in gigantic horror treads the earth!
79 SAVAGE UNTAM'D! she smiles to drink our tears,
80 And where's no solid ill, she wounds with fears;
81 Riots in sighs, is sooth'd when most we smart
82 Now, while she guides my pen, her FANG's within my heart.


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Title (in Source Edition): ODE TO INDIFFERENCE.
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Cowley, Mrs. (Hannah), 1743-1809. The Poetry of Anna Matilda. London: printed by John Bell, British Library, Strand, Bookseller to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. M DCC LXXXVIII., 1788, pp. []-53. [8],139,[1]p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T90094; OTA K073164.000) (Page images digitized by University of Minnesota Library.)

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