ODE TO MIRTH.
1 PArent of Joy! heart-easing Mirth!
2 Whether of Venus or Aurora born;
3 Yet Goddess sure of heavenly birth,
4 Visit benign a son of Grief forlorn:
5 Thy glittering colours gay,
6 Around him, Mirth, display;
7 And o'er his raptur'd sense
8 Diffuse thy living influence:
9 So shall each hill in purer green array'd,
10 And flower adorn'd in new-born beauty glow;
11 The grove shall smooth the horrors of his shade,
12 And streams in murmurs shall forget to flow. [Page 140]
13 Shine, Goddess, shine with unremitting ray,
14 And gild (a second sun) with brighter beam our day.
15 Labour with thee forgets his pain,
16 And aged Poverty can smile with thee,
17 If thou be nigh, Grief's hate is vain,
18 And weak the uplifted arm of Tyranny.
19 The morning opes on high
20 His universal eye;
21 And on the world doth pour
22 His glories in a golden shower.
23 Lo! Darkness trembling 'fore the hostile ray
24 Shrinks to the cavern deep and wood forlorn;
25 The brood obscene, that own her gloomy sway,
26 Troop in her rear, and fly th' approach of morn.
27 Pale shivering ghosts, that dread th' all-chearing light,
28 Quick, as the lightnings flash, glide to sepulchral night.
29 But whence the gladdening beam
30 That pours his purple stream
31 O'er the long prospect wide?
32 'Tis Mirth. I see her sit
33 In majesty of light,
34 With Laughter at her side.
35 Bright-ey'd Fancy hovering near
36 Wide waves her glancing wing in air;
37 And young Wit flings his pointed dart,
38 That guiltless strikes the willing heart.
39 Fear not now Affliction's power,
40 Fear not now wild Passion's rage,[Page 141]
41 Nor fear ye aught in evil hour,
42 Save the tardy hand of Age.
43 Now Mirth hath heard the suppliant Poet's prayer;
44 No cloud, that rides the blast, shall vex the troubled air.