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Poem by Mark Akenside

Ode 6. On the Absence of the Poetic Inclination

Queen of my songs, harmonious maid,
Why, why hast thou withdrawn thy aid?
Why thus forsook my widow'd breast,
With dark infeebling damps oppress'd?
Where is the bold prophetic heat,
With which my bosom wont to beat?
Where all the bright, mysterious dreams
Of haunted shades and tuneful streams,
That woo'd my Genius to divinest themes?

Say, can the purple charms of wine
Or young DIONE'S form divine,
Or flatt'ring scenes of promis'd fame
Relume thy faint, thy dying flame?
Have soft, melodious airs the pow'r
To give one free, poetic hour?
Or, from amid th' Elysian train,
The soul of MILTON shall I gain,
To win thee back with some coelestial strain?

O mighty mind! O sacred flame!
My spirit kindles at this name;
Again my lab'ring bosom burns;
The Muse, th' inspiring Muse returns!
Such on the banks of TYNE confest,
I hail'd the bright, etherial guest,
When first she seal'd me for her own,
Made all her blissful treasures known,
And bad me swear to follow HER alone.

Mark Akenside

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

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