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Poem by Mark Akenside

Ode 1. Allusion to Horace

Amid the garden's fragrance laid,
Where yonder limes behold their shade
Along the glassy stream,
With HORACE and his tuneful ease
I'll rest from crouds, and care's disease,
And summer's piercing beam.

Behold the busy, wand'ring BEE!
From bloom to bloom, from tree to tree
She sweeps mellifluous dews;
For her the silken gems arise,
For her display their shinking dyes,
Their balmy breath diffuse.

Sweet Murmurer! may no rude storm
This pleasurable scene deform
To check thy gladsome toils;
Still may the buds unsullied spring,
Still flow'rs and sunshine court thy wing
To these ambrosial spoils.

Nor shall my Muse hereafter fail
Her fellow-lab'rer thus to hail,
And lucky be the strains!
For long ago did nature frame
Your seasons and your arts the same,
Your pleasures and your pains.

Like thee, in lowly, sylvan scenes,
And river-banks and fruitful greens
Delights my vagrant song;
Nor strives by soaring high in air,
Tho' swans and eagles triumph there,
To draw the giddy throng.

Nor where the raven, where the owl
By night their hateful orgies howl,
Will she her cares imploy;
But flies from ruins and from graves,
From ghostly cells and monkish caves
To day-light and to joy.

Nor will she tempt the barren waste;
Nor deigns th' ungrateful stores to taste
Of any noxious thing;
But leaves with scorn to others' use
The bitter hemlock's baneful juice,
The nettle's sordid sting.

From all which nature fairest knows,
The vernal blooms, the summer rose,
She draws her mingled wealth;
And when the lovely task is done,
She consecrates a double boon,
To pleasure and to health.

Mark Akenside

Mark Akenside's other poems:
  1. For a Statue of Chaucer at Woodstock
  2. The Virtuoso; in imitation of Spencer's Style and Stanza
  3. A British Philippic
  4. To The Honourable Charles Townshend: From The Country
  5. On Lyric Poetry

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