[Page 309]


1 WHILE soft through water earth, and air
2 The vernal spirits rove,
3 From noise, my dear, and giddy crowds
4 To rural scenes remove.
5 The mountain snows are all dissolv'd,
6 And hush'd the blust'ring gale,
7 While fragrant Zephyrs gently breathe
8 Along the flowery vale.
9 The circling planets' constant rounds
10 The wintry wastes repair,
11 And still from temporary death
12 Renew the verdant year.
13 But ah! when once our transient bloom,
14 The spring of life, is o'er,
15 That rosy season takes its flight,
16 And must return no more.
17 Yet judge by Reason's sober rules,
18 From false Opinion free,
19 And mark how little pilfering years
20 Can steal from you or me.
21 Each moral pleasure of the heart,
22 Each smiling charm of truth,
23 Depends not on the giddy bud
24 Of wild fantastic youth.
[Page 310]
25 The vain coquet, whose empty pride
26 A fading face supplies,
27 May justly dread the wintry gloom
28 Where all its glory dies.
29 Leave such a ruin to deplore
30 To fleeting forms confin'd;
31 Nor age, nor wrinkles, discompose
32 One feature of the mind.
33 Amidst the universal change,
34 Unconscious of decay,
35 It views unmov'd the scythe of Time
36 Sweep all besides away.
37 Fix'd on its own eternal frame
38 Eternal are its joys,
39 While borne on transitory wings
40 Each mortal pleasure flies.
41 While every short-liv'd flower of sense
42 Destructive years consume,
43 Through friendship's fair enchanting walks
44 Unfading myrtles bloom.
45 Nor with the narrow bounds of time
46 Its beauteous prospect ends,
47 But lengthen'd through the vale of death
48 To paradise extends.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): ODE, to a LADY in LONDON.
Themes: age; virtue; vice; beauty
Genres: ballad metre; ode
References: DMI 27777

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Source edition

Dodsley, Robert, 1703-1764. A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. V. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758], pp. 309-310. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163; OTA K104099.005) (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.