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Poem by Mark Akenside


A Song


THE SHAPE alone let others prize,
  The features of the fair:
I look for spirit in her eyes,
  And meaning in her air.
 
A damask cheek, an ivory arm,
  Shall neer my wishes win:
Give me an animated form,
  That speaks a mind within.
 
A face where awful honor shines,
  Where sense and sweetness move,
And angel innocence refines
  The tenderness of love.
 
These are the soul of beautys frame;
  Without whose vital aid
Unfinished all her features seem,
  And all her roses dead.
 
But ah! where both their charms unite,
  How perfect is the view,
With every image of delight,
  With graces ever new:
 
Of power to charm the greatest woe,
  The wildest rage control,
Diffusing mildness oer the brow,
  And rapture through the soul.
 
Their power but faintly to express
  All language must despair;
But go, behold Arpasias face,
  And read it perfect there.



Mark Akenside


Mark Akenside's other poems:
  1. An Ode to the Country Gentlemen of England
  2. Ode 9. To Sleep
  3. The Virtuoso; in imitation of Spencer's Style and Stanza
  4. Ode 1. Allusion to Horace
  5. On Lyric Poetry


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • William Davenant A Song ("O thou that sleep'st like pig in straw")
  • Edwin Arnold A Song ("Once and only once you gave")
  • Robert Binyon A Song ("For Mercy, Courage, Kindness, Mirth")
  • Richard Crashaw A Song ("Lord, when the sense of thy sweet grace")

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