[Page 109]


1 O Parent of each lovely Muse,
2 Thy spirit o'er my soul diffuse,
3 O'er all my artless songs preside,
4 My footsteps to thy temple guide,
5 To offer at thy turf-built shrine,
6 In golden cups no costly wine,
7 No murder'd fat'ling of the flock,
8 But flowers and honey from the rock.
9 O Nymph with loosely-flowing hair,
10 With buskin'd leg, and bosom bare,
11 Thy waist with myrtle-girdle bound,
12 Thy brows with Indian feathers crown'd,
13 Waving in thy snowy hand
14 An all-commanding magick wand,
15 Of pow'r to bid fresh gardens blow
16 'Mid chearless Lapland's barren snow,
17 Whose rapid wings thy flight convey
18 Thro' air, and over earth and sea,
19 While the vast various landscape lies
20 Conspicuous to thy piercing eyes.
[Page 110]
21 O lover of the desart, hail!
22 Say, in what deep and pathless vale,
23 Or on what hoary mountain's side,
24 'Mid fall of waters you reside,
25 'Mid broken rocks, a rugged scene,
26 With green and grassy dales between,
27 'Mid forests dark of aged oak,
28 Ne'er echoing with the woodman's stroke,
29 Where never human art appear'd,
30 Nor ev'n one straw-roof'd cott was rear'd,
31 Where NATURE seems to sit alone,
32 Majestick on a craggy throne;
33 Tell me the path, sweet wand'rer, tell,
34 To thy unknown sequester'd cell,
35 Where woodbines cluster round the door,
36 Where shells and moss o'erlay the floor,
37 And on whose top an hawthorn blows,
38 Amid whose thickly-woven boughs
39 Some nightingale still builds her nest,
40 Each evening warbling thee to rest:
41 There lay me by the haunted stream,
42 Rapt in some wild, poetick dream,
43 In converse while methinks I rove
44 With SPENSER thro' a fairy grove;
45 Till suddenly awoke, I hear
46 Strange whisper'd musick in my ear,
47 And my glad soul in bliss is drown'd
48 By the sweetly-soothing sound!
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49 Me, Goddess, by the right-hand lead,
50 Sometimes thro' the yellow mead,
51 Where JOY and white-rob'd PEACE resort,
52 And VENUS keeps her festive court,
53 Where MIRTH and YOUTH each evening meet,
54 And lightly trip with nimble feet,
55 Nodding their lilly-crowned heads,
56 Where LAUGHTER rose-lip'd HEBE leads;
57 Where ECHO walks steep hills among,
58 List'ning to the shepherd's song:
59 Yet not these flowery fields of joy
60 Can long my pensive mind employ,
61 Haste, FANCY, from these scenes of folly
62 To meet the matron MELANCHOLY,
63 Goddess of the tearful eye,
64 That loves to fold her arms and sigh!
65 Let us with silent footsteps go
66 To charnels and the house of woe,
67 To Gothick churches, vaults, and tombs,
68 Where each sad night some virgin comes,
69 With throbbing breast, and faded cheek,
70 Her promis'd bridegroom's urn to seek;
71 Or to some abbey's mould'ring tow'rs,
72 Where to avoid cold wintry show'rs,
73 The naked beggar shivering lies,
74 While whistling tempests round her rise,
75 And trembles lest the tottering wall
76 Should on her sleeping infants fall.
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77 Now let us louder strike the lyre,
78 For my heart glows with martial fire,
79 I feel, I feel, with sudden heat,
80 My big tumultuous bosom beat;
81 The trumpet's clangors pierce my ear,
82 A thousand widows' shrieks I hear,
83 Give me another horse, I cry,
84 Lo! the base GALLIC squadrons fly;
85 Whence is this rage? what spirit, say,
86 To battle hurries me away?
87 'Tis FANCY, in her fiery car,
88 Transports me to the thickest war,
89 There whirls me o'er the hills of slain,
90 Where Tumult and Destruction reign;
91 Where mad with pain, the wounded steed
92 Tramples the dying and the dead:
93 Where giant Terror stalks around,
94 With sullen joy surveys the ground,
95 And pointing to th' ensanguin'd field,
96 Shakes his dreadful Gorgon-shield!
97 O guide me from this horrid scene
98 To high-arch'd walks and alleys green,
99 Which lovely LAURA seeks, to shun
100 The fervors of the mid-day sun;
101 The pangs of absence, O remove,
102 For thou can'st place me near my love,
103 Can'st fold in visionary bliss,
104 And let me think I steal a kiss,
[Page 113]
105 While her ruby lips dispense
106 Luscious nectar's quintessence!
107 When young-ey'd SPRING profusely throws
108 From her green lap the pink and rose,
109 When the soft turtle of the dale
110 To SUMMER tells her tender tale,
111 To AUTUMN cooling caverns seeks,
112 And stains with wine his jolly cheeks,
113 When WINTER, like poor pilgrim old,
114 Shakes his silver beard with cold,
115 At every season let my ear
116 Thy solemn whispers, FANCY, hear.
117 O warm, enthusiastick maid,
118 Without thy powerful, vital aid,
119 That breathes an energy divine,
120 That gives a soul to every line,
121 Ne'er may I strive with lips profane
122 To utter an unhallow'd strain,
123 Nor dare to touch the sacred string,
124 Save when with smiles thou bid'st me sing.
125 O hear our prayer, O hither come
126 From thy lamented SHAKESPEAR'S tomb,
127 On which thou lov'st to sit at eve,
128 Musing o'er thy darling's grave;
129 O queen of numbers, once again
130 Animate some chosen swain,
131 Who fill'd with unexhausted fire,
132 May boldly smite the sounding lyre,
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133 May rise above the rhyming throng,
134 Who with some new, unequall'd song
135 O'er all our list'ning passions reign,
136 O'erwhelm our souls with joy and pain;
137 With terror shake, with pity move,
138 Rouse with revenge, or melt with love.
139 O deign t' attend his evening walk,
140 With him in groves and grottos talk:
141 Teach him to scorn with frigid art
142 Feebly to touch th' unraptur'd heart;
143 Like lightning, let his mighty verse
144 The bosom's inmost foldings pierce;
145 With native beauties win applause,
146 Beyond cold criticks' studied laws:
147 O let each muse's fame increase,
148 O bid BRITANNIA rival GREECE!


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): ODE to FANCY.
Author: Joseph Warton
Themes: imagination
Genres: ode; essay
References: DMI 22491

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Source edition

Dodsley, Robert, 1703-1764. A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. III. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758], pp. 109-114. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163; OTA K104099.003) (Page images digitized by the Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive from a copy in the archive's library.)

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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.