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ODE TO APOLLO.
ON AN INK-GLASS ALMOST DRIED IN THE SUN.
PATRON of all those luckless brains,
That, to the wrong side leaning, Indite much metre with much pains,
And little or no meaning,
Ah why, since oceans, rivers, streams,
That water all the nations,
In constant exhalations,
Why, stooping from the noon of day,
Too covetous of drink, Apollo, hast thou stol'n away
A poet's drop of ink?
Upborne into the viewless air,
It floats a vapour now,
Impell’d through regions dense and rare,
By all the winds that blow.
Ordain'd, perhaps, ere summer flies,
Combin'd with millions more,
To form an iris in the skies,
Though black and foul before.
Illustrious drop! and happy
then Beyond the happiest lot, Of all that ever pass'd my pen,
So soon to be forgot!
Phoebus, if such be thy design,
To place it in thy bow,
With equal grace below.
ADDRESSED TO MISS STAPLETON,
She came—she is gone—we have met
And meet perhaps never again; The sun of that moment is set,
And seems to have risen in vain.
Catharina has fled like a dream
(So vanishes pleasure, alas !) But has left a regret and esteem
That will not so suddenly pass.
The last evening ramble we made,
Catharina, Maria, and I, Our progress was often delay'd
By the nightingale warbling nigh. We paus’d under many a tree,
And much she was charm'd with a tone
My numbers that day she had sung, ,
And gave them a grace so divine,
Could infuse into numbers of mine.
The longer I heard, I esteem'd
The work of my fancy the more,
So tuneful a poet before.
Though the pleasures of London exceed
In number the days of the year,
Would feel herself happier here;
For the close-woven arches of limes,
On the banks of our river, I know,
Are sweeter to her many times
Than all that the city can show.
So it is, when the mind is endued
With a well-judging taste from above,
Then, whether embellish'd or rude,
'Tis nature alone that we love.
The achievements of art may amuse,
May even our wonder excite,
A lasting, a sacred delight.
Since then in the rural recess
Catharina alone can rejoice, May it still be her lot to possess
The scene of her sensible choice!
To inhabit a mansion remote
From the clatter of street-pacing steeds, And by Philomel's annual note
To measure the life that she leads.
With her book, and her voice, and her lyre,
To wing all her moments at home,