Mark Akenside

(1721-1770 / England)

Ode X: To The Muse - Poem by Mark Akenside

I.
Queen of my songs, harmonious maid,
Ah why hast thou withdrawn thy aid?
Ah why forsaken thus my breast
With inauspicious damps oppress'd?
Where is the dread prophetic heat,
With which my bosom wont to beat?
Where all the bright mysterious dreams
Of haunted groves and tuneful streams,
That woo'd my genius to divinest themes?

II.
Say, goddess, can the festal board,
Or young Olympia's form ador'd;
Say, can the pomp of promis'd fame
Relume thy faint, thy dying flame?
Or have melodious airs the power
To give one free, poetic hour?
Or, from amid the Elysian train,
The soul of Milton shall i gain,
To win thee back with some celestial strain?

III.
O powerful strain! o sacred soul!
His numbers every sense controul:
And now again my bosom burns;
The Muse, the Muse herself returns.
Such on the banks of Tyne, confess'd,
I hail'd the fair immortal guest,
When first she seal'd me for her own,
Made all her blissful treasures known,
And bade me swear to follow Her alone.


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 17, 2010



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