Ode to Adversity
Daughter of Heav'n, 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 heavn'ly 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'st her know;
And from her she learn'd to melt at others' wo.
Scar'd at thy 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 solemn steps attend;
Warm charity, the gen'ral friend,
With justice to herself severe,
And pity, dropping soft the sadly-pleasing tear.
Oh, gently, on the suppliant's head,
Dread pow'r lay thy chast'ning 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.
Thy form benign, propitious, 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.
John Gay's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Ode to Adversity by John Gay )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
- Christmas Trees, Robert Frost
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Warning, Jenny Joseph
- The Saddest Poem, Pablo Neruda
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- A Life-Lesson, James Whitcomb Riley
Poem of the Day
- Perverse Ignorance, Right?, Nasarudheen.P. Parameswaran
- slowly down the road, animesh sapkota
- Understanding The Bodo Culture, Bijay Kant Dubey
- Each Day With You KP, Michael P. McParland
- Where there is truth and love, gajanan mishra
- Each Day 2, Michael P. McParland
- Dreams to Follow, Peter S. Quinn
- Each Day, Michael P. McParland
- Leprechauns in Pop's Fedora, Donal Mahoney
- Dreamt Of You 4, Michael P. McParland