Mary Robinson ( )


Ode to Beauty


EXULTING BEAUTY,phantom of an hour, 
Whose magic spells enchain the heart, 
Ah ! what avails thy fascinating powr, 
Thy thrilling smile, thy witching art ? 
Thy lip, where balmy nectar glows; 
Thy cheek, where round the damask rose 
A thousand nameless Graces move, 
Thy mildly speaking azure eyes, 
Thy golden hair, where cunning Love 
In many a mazy ringlet lies? 
Soon as thy radiant form is seen, 
Thy native blush, thy timid mien, 
Thy hour is past ! thy charms are vain! 
ILL-NATURE haunts thee with her sallow train, 
Mean JEALOUSY deceives thy listning ear, 
And SLANDER stains thy cheek with many a bitter tear. 

In calm retirement formd to dwell, 
NATURE, thy handmaid fair and kind, 
For thee, a beauteous garland twind; 
The vale-nursd Lilys downcast bell 
Thy modest mien displayd, 
The snow-drop, Aprils meekest child, 
With myrtle blossoms undefild, 
Thy mild and spotless mind pourtrayd; 
Dear blushing maid, of cottage birth, 
Twas thine, oer dewy meads to stray, 
While sparkling health, and frolic mirth 
Led on thy laughing Day. 

Lurd by the babbling tongue of FAME, 
Too soon, insidious FLATTRY came; 
Flushd VANITY her footsteps led, 
To charm thee from thy blest repose, 
While Fashion twind about thy head 
A wreath of wounding woes; 
See Dissipation smoothly glide, 
Cold Apathy, and puny Pride, 
Capricious Fortune, dull, and blind, 
Oer splendid Folly throws her veil, 
While Envys meagre tribe assail 
Thy gentle form, and spotless mind. 

Their spells prevail! no more those eyes 
Shoot undulating fires; 
On thy wan cheek, the young rose dies, 
Thy lips deep tint expires; 
Dark Melancholy chills thy mind; 
Thy silent tear reveals thy woe; 
TIME strews with thorns thy mazy way, 
Whereer thy giddy footsteps stray, 
Thy thoughtless heart is doomd to find 
An unrelenting foe. 

Tis thus, the infant Forest flowr 
Bespangled oer with glittring dew, 
At breezy morns refreshing hour, 
Glows with pure tints of varying hue, 
Beneath an aged oaks wide spreading shade, 
Where no rude winds, or beating storms invade. 
Transplanted from its lonely bed, 
No more it scatters perfumes round, 
No more it rears its gentle head, 
Or brightly paints the mossy ground; 
For ah! the beauteous bud, too soon, 
Scorchd by the burning eye of day; 
Shrinks from the sultry glare of noon, 
Droops its enamelld brow, and blushing, dies away.



Mary Robinson's other poems:
  1. Ode to Melancholy
  2. Ode to Valour
  3. Sonnet 9. Ye, Who in Alleys Green
  4. Sonnet 24. O Thou! Meek Orb
  5. Stanzas Written under an Oak in Windsor Forest


Poems of other poets with the same name ( ):

  • Henry Pye ( ) Ode to Beauty ("Enchanting power! whose influence blest")
  • Ralph Emerson ( ) Ode to Beauty ("Who gave thee, O Beauty")

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