Thomas Blacklock, “An Irregular Ode”



 Sent to a LADY on her Marriage-Day.



With all your wings, ye moments, fly,
And drive the tardy sun along;
Till that glad morn shall paint the sky,
Which wakes the muse, and claims the
raptur’d song.                                                                    5


See nature with our wishes join,
To aid the dear, the blest design;
See Time precipitate his way,
To bring th’ expected happy day;
See, the wish’d for dawn appears,                                                10
A more than wonted glow she wears:
Hark! Hymeneals sound;
Each muse awakes her softest lyre;
Each airy warbler swells the choir;
‘Tis music all around.                                                                15


Awake, ye nymphs,  the blushing bride,
T’eclipse Aurora’s rosy pride;
While virgin shame retards her way,
And Love, half-angry, chides her stay:
While hopes and fears alternate reign,                                           20
Intermingling bliss and pain;
O’er all her charms diffuse peculiar grace,
Pant in her shiv’ring heart, and vary in her face.


At length consent, reluctant fair,
To bless thy long-expecting lover’s eyes!                                 25
Too long his sighs are lost in air,
At length resign the bliss for which he dies:
The muses, prescient of your future joys,
Dilate my soul, and prompt the chearful lay;
While they, thro’ coming times, with glad surprize,                         30
The long successive brightning scenes survey.


Lo! to your sight a blooming offspring rise,
And add new ardour to the nuptial ties;
While in each form you both united shine;
Fresh honours wait your temples to adorn:                                      35
For you glad CERES fills the flowing horn,
And heav’n and fate to bless your days combine.


While life gives pleasure, life shall still remain,
Till death, with gentle hand, shall shut the pleasing
scene:                                                                                           40
Safe, sable guide to that celestial shore,
Where pleasure knows no end, and change is fear’d
no more!


8 precipitate “Relating to haste or speed” (OED).

12 Hymeneals Wedding hymns  (OED).

14 airy warbler A song bird (OED).

17 Aurora “Roman goddess of the dawn” (OED).

19 chides  “To compel”  (OED).

28 prescient “Having knowledge of the future” (OED).

33 ardour “Enthusiasm” (OED).

36 CERES “Roman goddess of the growth of food plants” (Britannica).

SOURCE:  Poems on Several Occasions (Edinburgh, 1754), pp. 51-53. [Google Books]

Edited by Kamaiya Brown-Simsisulu