Mary Robinson ( )


Ode to Envy


Deep in th abyss where frantic horror bides, 
In thickest mists of vapours fell,
Where wily Serpents hissing glare
And the dark Demon of Revenge resides,
At midnights murky hour
Thy origin began: 
Rapacious MALICE was thy sire;
Thy Dam the sullen witch, Despair;
Thy Nurse, insatiate Ire. 
The FATES conspird their ills to twine,
About thy hearts infected shrine;
They gave thee each disastrous spell,
Each desolating powr,
To blast the fairest hopes of man. 

Soon as thy fatal birth was known, 
From her unhallowd throne
With ghastly smile pale Hecate sprung; 
Thy hideous form the Sorcress pressd
With kindred fondness to her breast; 
Her haggard eye
Short forth a ray of transient joy, 
Whilst thro th infernal shades exulting clamours rung. 

Above thy fellow fiends thy tyrant hand
Graspd with resistless force supreme command: 
The dread terrific crowd
Before thy iron sceptre bowd. 
Now, seated in thy ebon cave, 
Around thy throne relentless furies rave: 
A wreath of ever-wounding thorn
Thy scowling brows encompass round, 
Thy heart by knawing Vultures torn, 
Thy meagre limbs with deathless scorpions bound. 
Thy black associates, torpid IGNORANCE, 
And pining JEALOUSYwith eye askance,
With savage rapture execute thy will, 
And strew the paths of life with every torturing ill 

Nor can the sainted dead escape thy rage; 
Thy vengeance haunts the silent grave, 
Thy taunts insult the ashes of the brave; 
While proud AMBITION weeps thy rancour to assuage. 
The laurels round the POETs bust, 
Twind by the liberal hand of Taste, 
By thy malignant grasp defacd, 
Fade to their native dust: 
Thy ever-watchful eye no labour tires, 
Beneath thy venomd touch the angel TRUTH expires. 

When in thy petrifying car
Thy scaly dragons waft thy form, 
Then, swifter, deadlier far 
Than the keen lightnings lance, 
That wings its way across the yelling storm, 
Thy barbed shafts fly whizzing round, 
While every withring glance
Inflicts a cureless wound. 

Thy giant arm with pondrous blow
Hurls genius from her glorious height, 
Bends the fair front of Virtue low, 
And meanly pilfers every pure delight. 
Thy hollow voice the sense appalls, 
Thy vigilance the mind enthralls; 
Rest hast thou none,by night, by day, 
Thy jealous ardour seeks for prey
Nought can restrain thy swift career; 
Thy smile derides the suffrers wrongs; 
Thy tongue the slandrers tale prolongs; 
Thy thirst imbibes the victims tear; 
Thy breast recoils from friendships flame; 
Sickning thou hearst the trump of Fame; 
Worth gives to thee, the direst pang; 
The Lovers rapture wounds thy heart, 
The proudest efforts of prolific art 
Shrink from thy poisonous fang. 

In vain the Sculptors labring hand 
Calls fine proportion from the Parian stone; 
In vain the Minstrels chords command
The soft vibrations of seraphic tone; 
For swift thy violating arm 
Tears from perfection evry charm; 
Nor rosy YOUTH, nor BEAUTYs smiles
Thy unrelenting rage beguiles, 
Thy breath contaminates the fairest name, 
And binds the guiltless brow with ever-blistring shame.



Mary Robinson's other poems:
  1. Sonnet 9. Ye, Who in Alleys Green
  2. Sonnet 13. Bring, Brick to Deck My Brow
  3. Ode to Melancholy
  4. Ode to Valour
  5. Sonnet 24. O Thou! Meek Orb


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