Tag Archives: regular ode

Robert Luck, “The Dry Joke”

ROBERT LUCK

“The Dry Joke”

 

God Bacchus well warm’d,
With Beauty was charm’d;
And Cupid’s bright Mother addrest.
She cry’d, you are silly ——
I hate you — nor will I                                          5
Be thus by a Toper carest.

Thus slighted the God,
With an angry Nod,
Said , Adieu to you, Madam — in vain
You’ll try to allure me:                                          10
Your Pride shall secure me,
From Courting coy Beauty again.

What Bacchus then spoke,
She hop’d was in joke:
And again Wine and Love wou’d agree.                    15
But he, as malicious
As she was capricious,
Her Error soon made her to see.

For Nymphs sweet as May,
All met at a Play;                                                     20
Where each was as fine as a Queen.
In each lovely Creature,
Art yielded to Nature;
Tho’ deck’d all in Jewels are seen.

Apollo was there,                                                    25
To charm e’ery ear;
But (what a mild Dove wou’d provoke.)
The Beaus who appear’d on
The Stage, slily lear’d on;
And left the fair Circle to choke.                                  30

Now Venus in vain,
Does to Bacchus complain,
That Beauty was dying with thirst.
The God reply’d, smiling,
Her Coyness reviling ——                                     35
Why did you provoke me then first?

O ye Ladies, beware,
Be as kind as you’re fair;
Nor requite your fond Slaves with disdain.
A Lover defeated,                                                   40
With vengeance is hated;
And Mischief still runs in his Brain.

NOTES:

1  Bacchus  “The god of wine” (OED).

3  Cupid  “In Roman Mythology, the god of love, son of Mercury and Venus” (OED).

6  Toper  “One who topes or drinks a great deal; a drunkard” (OED).

25  Apollo  Greek god of sun, light, music and poetry.

28  Beaus  “A man who gives particular, or excessive, attention to dress, mien, and social etiquette; a dandy” (OED).

31  Venus  The ancient Roman goddess of beauty and love.

SOURCE:  A Miscellany of new Poems, on Several Occasions (London, 1736), pp. 56-58.  [Google Books]

Edited by Ivan Li

Isaac Hawkins Browne, “On a Fit of the Gout. An Ode”

ISAAC HAWKINS BROWNE

“On a Fit of the Gout. An Ode”

 

Wherefore was Man thus form’d with eye sublime,
With active joints to traverse hill or plain,
But to contemplate Nature in her prime,
Lord of this ample world, his fair domain?
Why on this various earth such beauty pour’d,                                      5
But for thy pleasure, Man, her sovereign lord?

Why does the mantling vine her juice afford
Nectareous, but to cheer with cordial taste?
Why are the earth and air and ocean stor’d
With beast, fish, fowl; if not for Man’s repast?                                 10
Yet what avails to me, or taste, or sight,
Exil’d from every object of delight?

So much I feel of anguish, day and night
Tortur’d, benumb’d; in vain the fields to range
Me vernal breezes, and mild suns invite,                                              15
In vain the banquet smokes with kindly change
Of delicacies, while on every plate
Pain lurks in ambush, and alluring fate.

Fool, not to know the friendly powers create
These maladies in pity to mankind:                                                    20
These abdicated Reason reinstate
When lawless Appetite usurps the mind;
Heaven’s faithful centries at the door of bliss
Plac’d to deter, or to chastise excess.

Weak is the aid of wisdom to repress                                                     25
Passion perverse; philosophy how vain!
‘Gainst Circe’s cup, enchanting sorceress;
Or when the Syren sings her warbling strain.
Whate’er or sages teach, or bards reveal,
Men still are men, and learn but when they feel.                                     30

As in some free and well-pois’d common-weal
Sedition warns the rulers how to steer,
As storms and thunders ratling with loud peal,
From noxious dregs the dull horizon clear;
So when the mind imbrutes in sloth supine,                                             35
Sharp pangs awake her energy Divine.

Cease then, oh cease, fond mortal, to repine
At laws, which Nature wisely did ordain;
Pleasure, what is it? rightly to define,
‘Tis but a short-liv’d interval from pain:                                               40
Or rather, each, alternately renew’d,
Give to our lives a sweet vicissitude.

NOTES:

7  mantling  “Spreading, covering; enveloping, surrounding” (OED).

8  Nectareous  “Of the nature, consisting, or suggestive of nectar; sweet” (OED).

10  repast  “A quantity of food and drink forming or intended for a meal or feast” (OED).

27  Circe  In Greek and Latin mythology, a sorceress who was able to turn those who drank from her cup into swine (Britannica).

28  Syren  In Greek mythology, a feminine creature, often half bird and half woman, who “lure[s] sailors to destruction by the sweetness of her song” (Britannica).

31  common-weal  “Commonwealth” (OED).

35  imbrutes  “To degrade to the level of a brute; to make bestial, brutalize” (OED).

37  repine  “To feel or express dissatisfaction; to grumble, complain” (OED).

SOURCE:  Poems Upon Various Subjects, Latin and English (London, 1768), pp. 137-39. [ECCO]

 Edited by Sam Lim-Kimberg

 

 

Samuel Johnson, “Autumn. An Ode”

SAMUEL JOHNSON

 “Autumn. An Ode”

 

Alas! with swift and silent pace,
Impatient time rolls on the year;
The seasons change, and nature’s face
Now sweetly smiles, now frowns severe.

‘Twas Spring, ’twas Summer, all was gay,                                                                              5
Now Autumn bends a cloudy brow;
The flowers of Spring are swept away,
And Summer fruits desert the bough.

The verdant leaves that play’d on high,
And wanton’d on the western breeze,                                                                           10
Now trod in dust neglected lie,
As Boreas strips the bending trees.

The fields that wav’d with golden grain,
As russet heaths are wild and bare;
Not moist with dew, but drench’d in rain,                                                                             15
Nor health, nor pleasure wanders there.

No more while thro the midnight shade,
Beneath the moon’s pale orb I stray,
Soft pleasing woes my heart invade,
As Progne pours the melting lay.                                                                                      20

From this capricious clime she soars,
O! would some god but wings supply!
To where each morn the Spring restores,
Companion of her flight I’d fly.

Vain wish! me fate compels to bear                                                                                          25
The downward season’s iron reign,
Compels to breathe polluted air,
And shiver on a blasted plain.

What bliss to life can Autumn yield,
If glooms, and showers, and storms prevail;                                                                    30
And Ceres flies the naked field,
And flowers, and fruits, and Phoebus fail?

Oh! what remains, what lingers yet,
To cheer me in the darkening hour?
The grape remains! the friend of wit,                                                                                        35
In love, and mirth, of mighty power.

Haste – press the clusters, fill the bowl;
Apollo! shoot thy parting ray:
This gives the sunshine of the soul,
This god of health, and verse, and day.                                                                              40

Still – still the jocund strain shall flow,
The pulse with vigorous rapture beat;
My Stella with new charms shall glow,
And every bliss in wine shall meet.

NOTES:

8 bough “One of the larger limbs or offshoots of a tree, a main branch; but also applied to a smaller branch” (OED).

10 wanton’d “To move nimbly, and irregularly” (Johnson).

11 trod “Tread, footprint, track, trace” (OED).

12 Boreas “The north-wind” (OED).

 14 russett “A subdued reddish-brown colour; a shade of this” (OED).

 20 Progne “ (A name for) the swallow (frequently treated poetically as a variety of songbird)” (OED).

31 Ceres In Roman religion, goddess of agriculture and goddess of the growth of food plants (Encyclopædia Britannica).

 32 Phoebus “Apollo as the god of light or of the sun; the sun personified” (OED).

36 mirth “Often used of religious joy and heavenly bliss” (OED).

 38 Apollo Olympian god of prophecy and oracles, music, song and poetry, archery, healing, plague and disease, and the protection of the young.

41 jocund “Feeling, expressing, or communicating mirth or cheerfulness” (OED).

 Source: The Poetical Works Of Samuel Johnson (London, 1789), pp. 158-160. [Google Books]

 Edited by Robert Mezian