Mark Akenside

(1721-1770 / England)

Inscriptions: VIII: Ye Powers Unseen


Ye powers unseen, to whom, the bards of Greece
Erected altars; ye who to the mind
More lofty views unfold, and prompt the heart
With more divine emotions; if erewhile
Not quite unpleasing have my votive rites
Of you been deem'd when oft this lonely seat
To you i consecrated; then vouchsafe
Here with your instant energy to crown
My happy solitude. It is the hour
When most i love to invoke you, and have felt
Most frequent your glad ministry divine.
The air is calm: the sun's unveiled orb
Shines in the middle heaven. the harvest round
Stands quiet, and among the golden sheaves
The reapers lie reclin'd. the neighbouring groves
Are mute; nor even a linnet's random strain
Echoeth amid the silence. Let me feel
Your influence, ye kind powers. Aloft in heaven,
Abide ye? or on those transparent clouds
Pass, ye from hill to hill? or on the shades
Which yonder elms cast o'er the lake below
Do you converse retir'd? From what lov'd haunt
Shall i expect you? Let me once more feel
Your influence, o ye kind inspiring powers:
And i will guard it well, nor shall a thought
Rise in my mind, nor shall a passion move
Across my bosom unobserv'd, unstor'd
By faithful memory. and then at some
More active moment, will i call them forth
Anew; and join them in majestic forms,
And give them utterance in harmonious strains;
That all mankind shall wonder at your sway.

Submitted: Saturday, April 17, 2010

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