Mary Robinson ( )

Ode on Adversity

WHERE oer my head, the deafning Tempest blew, 
And Nights cold lamp cast forth a feeble ray; 
Where oer the woodlands, vivid lightnings flew, 
Cleft the strong oak, and scorchd the blossomd spray; 
At morns approach, I mark the suns warm glow 
Oer the grey hill a crimson radiance throw; 
I mark the silvry fragrant dew, 
Give lustre to the vilets hue; 
The shallow rivers oer their pebbly way, 
In slow meanders murmuring play; 
Day spreads her beams, the lofty forest tree, 
Shakes from its moistend head the pearly showr, 
All nature, feels the renovating hour, 
All, but the sorrowing child of cold ADVERSITY; 
For her, the linnets downy throat 
Breathes harmony in vain; 
Unmovd, she hears the warbling note 
In all the melody of song complain; 
By her unmarkd the flowrets bloom, 
In vain the landscape sheds perfume; 
Her languid form, on earths damp bed, 
In coarse and tatterd garb reclines; 
In silent agony she pines; 
Or, if she hears some strangers tread, 
To a dark nook, ashamed she flies, 
And with her scanty robe, oer-shades her weeping eyes. 

Her hair, disheveld, wildly plays 
With every freezing gale; 
While down her cold cheek, deadly pale, 
The tear of pensive sorrow strays; 
She shuns, the PITY of the proud, 
Her mind, still triumphs, unsubdud 
Nor stoops, its misery to obtrude, 
Upon the vulgar croud. 

Unheeded, and unknown, 
To some bleak wilderness she flies; 
And seated on a moss-clad stone, 
Unwholesome vapours round her rise, 
And hang their mischiefs on her brow; 
The ruffian winds, her limbs expose; 
Still, still, her heart disdains to bow, 
She cherishes her woes. 

NOW FAMINE spreads her sable wings; 
INGRATITUDE insults her pangs; 
While from a thousand eager fangs, 
Maddning she flies;The recreant crew 
With taunting smiles her steps pursue; 
While on her burning, bleeding heart, 
Fresh wounded by Afflictions dart, 
NEGLECT, her icy poison flings; 
From HOPEs celestial bosom hurld, 
She seeks oblivions gloom, 
Now, now, she mocks the barbrous world, 

Mary Robinson's other poems:
  1. Sonnet 24. O Thou! Meek Orb
  2. To Cesario
  3. The Poor Singing Dame
  4. Sonnet to Evening
  5. Sonnet to My Beloved Daughter

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