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FOR IND I F F E R E N C E. 53 The wounds which now each moment bleed ,
Each moment then shall close,
And tranquil days shall still succeed
To nights of calm repose.
O fairy elf ! but grant me this,
This one kind comfort fend;
And so may never-fading bliss
Thy flow’ry paths attend !
So may the glow-worm’s glimm’ring light .
Thy tiny footsteps lead
To some new region of delight,
Unknown to mortal tread.
And be thy acorn goblet fill’d
With heav'n's ambrosial dew;
From sweetest, freshest flow'rs distilld,
That shed fresh sweets for you.
And what of life remains for me
I'll pass in sober ease;
Half-pleas’d, contented will I be,
Content but half to please.
DAUGHTER of Jove, relentless pow'r,
Thou tamer of the human breast,
Whose iron scourge and tort’ring hour
The bad affright, afflict the best!
Bound in thy adamantine chain,
The proud are taught to taste of pain,
And purple tyrants vainly groan
With pangs unfelt before, unpitied and alone.'
When first thy Sire to send on earth
Virtue, his darling child, design'd,
To thee he gave the heav'nly birth,
And bade to form her infant mind.
Stern rugged nurse! thy rigid lore
With patience many a year she bore;
What sorrow was thou bad's her know-,
And from her own she learn'd to melt at others woe.
Scar'd at his frown terrific, fly
Self-pleasing Folly's idle brood,
Wild laughter, noise, and thoughtless joy,
And leave us leisure to be good.
Light they disperse; and with them go
The summer-friend, the flatt’ring foe;
By vain prosperity receiv'd,
To her they vow their truth, and are again believ'd.
Wisdom in sable garb array’d,
Immers’d in rapt'rous thought profound.
And Melancholy, silent maid
With leaden eye, that loves the ground,
Still on thy folemn steps attend:
Warm charity, the general friend,
With justice to herself severe,
And pity, dropping soft the fadly-pleasing tear.
0, gently on thy suppliant's head, Dread Goddess, lay thy chastning hand! Not in thy Gorgon terrors clad, Nor circled with the vengeful band · (As by the impious thou art seen) With thund'ring voice, and threat'ning mien,
With screaming horror's fun'ral cry, Despair, and fell Disease, and ghastly Poverty.
56 ODE TO A D V E R S IT Y.
Thy form benign, oh Goddess, wear,
Thy milder influence impart,
Thy philosophic train be there
To soften, not to wound my heart.
The gen'rous spark extinct revive,
Teach me to love and to forgive,
Exact my own defects to scan,
What others are to feel; and know myself a man.
YE distant spires, ye antique tow'rs,
That crown the wat’ry glade,
Where grateful science still adores
Her Henry's holy shade;
And ye, that from the stately brow
Of Windsor's heights th' expanse below
Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey,
Whose turf, whose shade, whose flow'rs among,
Wanders the hoary Thames along
His silver-winding way.
Ah happy hills ! ah pleasing shade!
Ah fields belov'd in vain !
Where once my careless childhood stray'd,
A stranger yet to pain!
I feel the gales that from ye blow,
A momentary bliss bestow;
As waving fresh their gladsome wing,
My weary soul they seem to sooth,
And, redolent of joy and youth,
To breathe a second spring,