Mary Robinson ( )

Ode to Della Crusca

ENLIGHTEND Patron of the sacred Lyre?
Whose ever-varying, ever-witching song
Revibrates on the heart
With magic thrilling touch,
Till evry nerve with quivring throb divine,
In maddning tumults, owns thy wondrous powr;
For well thy dulcet notes
Can wind the mazy song,
In labyrinth of wild fantastic form;
Or with empassiond pathos woo the soul
With sounds more sweetly mild,
Than SAPPHOs plaint forlorn,
When bending oer the wave she sung her woes,
While pitying ECHO hoverd oer the deep,
Till in their coral caves,
The tuneful NEREIDES wept.
AH! whither art thou flown? where pours thy song?
The model and the pride of British bards!
Sweet STAR of FANCYs orb,
O, tell me, tell me, where? 

Say, dost thou waste it on the viewless air
That bears it to the confines of high Heavn?
Or does it court the meed
Of proud pre-eminence?
Or steals it oer the glittring Sapphire wave,
Calming the tempest with its silver sounds?
Or does it charm to love
The fond believing maid?
Or does it hover oer the ALPINE steep,
Or softly breathing under myrtle shades,
With SYMPATHY divine,
Solace the child of woe?
Whereer thou art, Oh! let thy gentle strain
Again with magic powr delight mine ear,
Untutord in the spells,
And mysteries of song.
Then, on the margin of the deep Ill muse,
And bless the rocking bark ordaind to bear
My sad heart oer the wave,
From this ungrateful isle;
When the wan queen of night, with languid eye,
Peeps oer the mountains head, or thro the vale
Illumes the glassy brook,
Or dew-besprinkled heath,
Or with her crystal lamp, directs the feet
Of the benighted TRAVLLER, cold, and sad,
Thro the long forest drear,
And pathless labyrinth,
To the poor PEASANTs hospitable cot,
For ever open to the wretch forlorn;
O, then Ill think on THEE,
And iterate thy strain, 
And chaunt thy matchless numbers oer and oer,
And I will court the sullen ear of night,
To bear the raptrous sound,
On her dark shadwy wing,
To where encircled by the sacred NINE,
Thy LYRE awakes the never-dying song!
Now, BARD admird, farwel!
The white sail flutters loud,
The gaudy streamers lengthen in the gale,
Far from my native shore I bend my way;
Yet, as my aching eye
Shall view the lessning cliff,
Till its stupendous head shall scarce appear
Above the surface of the swelling deep;
Ill snatch a ray of hope,
For HOPEs the lamp divine
That lights and vivifies the fainting soul,
With extacies beyond the powrs of song!
That ere I reach those banks
Where the loud TIBER flows,
Or milder ARNO slowly steals along,
To the soft music of the summer breeze,
The wafting wing of TIME
May bear this last ADIEU,
This wild untutord picture of the heart,
To HIM, whose magic verse INSPIRD THE STRAIN.

Mary Robinson's other poems:
  1. Sonnet 24. O Thou! Meek Orb
  2. The Widows Home
  3. To Cesario
  4. Sonnet 44. Here Droops the Muse
  5. The Poor Singing Dame

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