Mary Robinson ( )


Ode to Eloquence


HAIL! GODDESS of persuasive art! 
The magic of whose tuneful tongue 
Lulls to soft harmony the wandring heart 
With fascinating song; 
O, let me hear thy heavn-taught strain, 
As thro my quivring pulses steal 
The mingling throbs of joy and pain, 
Which only sensate minds can feel; 
Ah ! let me taste the bliss supreme, 
Which thy warm touch unerring flings 
Oer the rapt senses finest strings, 
When GENIUS, darting frown the sky, 
Glances across my wondring eye, 
Her animating beam. 

SWEET ELOQUENCE! thy mild controul, 
Awakes to REASONs dawn, the IDIOT soul; 
When mists absorb the MENTAL sight, 
Tis thine, to dart CREATIVE LIGHT; 
Tis thine, to chase the filmy clouds away, 
And oer the minds deep bloom, spread a refulgent ray. 
Nor is thy wondrous art confind, 
Within the bounds of MENTAL space, 
For thou canst boast exterior grace, 
Bright emblem of the fertile mind; 
Yes; I have seen thee, with persuasion meek, 
Bathe in the lucid tear, on Beautys cheek, 
Have markd thee in the downcast eye, 
When suffring Virtue claimd the pitying sigh. 

Oft, by thy thrilling voice subdued, 
The meagre fiend INGRATITUDE 
Her treachrous fang conceals; 
Pale ENVY hides her forked sting; 
And CALUMNY, beneath the wing 
Of dark oblivion steals. 

Before thy pure and lambent fire 
Shall frozen Apathy expire; 
Thy influence warm and unconfind, 
Shall raptrous transports give, 
And in the base and torpid mind, 
Shall bid the fine Affections live; 
When JEALOUSYs malignant dart, 
Strikes at the fondly throbbing heart; 
When fancied woes, on every side assail, 
Thy honeyd accents shall prevail; 
When burning Passion withers up the brain, 
And the fixd lids, the glowing drops sustain, 
Touchd by thy voice, the melting eye 
Shall pour the balm of yielding SYMPATHY. 

Tis thine, with lenient Song to move 
The dumb despair of hopeless LOVE; 
Or when the animated soul 
On Fancys wing shall soar, 
And scorning Reasons soft controul, 
Untrodden paths explore; 
Till by distracting conflicts tost, 
The intellectual source is lost: 
Een then, the witching music of thy tongue 
Stealing thro Misrys DARKEST GLOOM, 
Weaves the fine threads of FANCYs loom, 
Till every slackend nerve new strung, 
Bids renovated NATURE shine, 
Amidst the fostring beams of ELOQUENCE DIVINE.



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


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