Tag Archives: regular ode

Michael Bruce, “Ode: To a Fountain”


“Ode: To a Fountain”


O Fountain of the wood! whose glassy wave
Slow-welling from the rock of years,
Holds to heav’n a mirrour blue,
And bright as ANNA’S eye,

With whom I’ve sported on the margin green:                                5
My hand with leaves, with lilies white,
Gaily deck’d her golden hair,
Young NAIAD of the vale.

Fount of my native wood! thy murmurs greet
My ear, like poets heav’nly strain:                                                 10
Fancy pictures in a dream
The golden days of youth.

O state of innocence! O paradise!
In Hope’s gay garden, Fancy views
Golden blossoms, golden fruits,                                                  15
And EDEN ever green.

Where now, ye dear companions of my youth!
Ye brothers of my bosom! where
Do ye tread the walks of life,
Wide scatter’d o’er the world?                                                    20

Thus winged larks forsake their native nest,
The merry minstrels of the morn;
New to heav’n they mount away,
And meet again no more.

All things decay; the forest like the leaf;                                            25
Great kingdoms fall; the peopled globe,
Planet-struck, shall pass away;
Heav’ns with their hosts expire:

But Hope’s fair visions, and the beams of Joy,
Shall chear my bosom: I will sing                                                      30
Nature’s beauty, Nature’s birth,
And heroes on the lyre.

Ye NAIADS! blue-eyed sisters of the wood!
Who by old oak, or storied stream,
Nightly tread your mystic maze,                                                     35
And charm the wand’ring Moon,

Beheld by poet’s eye; inspire my dreams
With visions, like the landscapes fair
Of heav’n’s bliss, to dying faints
By guardian angels drawn.                                                            40

Fount of the forest! in thy poet’s lays
Thy waves shall flow: this wreath of flow’rs,
Gather’d by my ANNA’S hand,
I ask to bind my brow.


7 Gaily “Airily; cheerfully” (Johnson).

8 NAIAD “A nymph of fresh water, thought to inhabit a river, spring, etc.” (OED).

9 Fount “Fountain, a well; a spring” (Johnson).

11 Fancy Poetic imagination.

21 larks “A small singing bird” (Johnson).

27 Planet-struck “Blasted” (Johnson).

32 lyreA harp; a musical instrument to which poetry is, by poetical writers, supposed to be sung” (Johnson).

41 poet’s lays “A lay may be a song, a melody, a simple narrative poem, or a ballad” (Britannica).

SOURCE: Poems on Several Occasions (Edinburgh, 1770), pp. 45-47. [Google Books]

Edited by Yaneli Lopez

Ann Murry, “An Ode”


 “An Ode”


Beneath a Willow’s mournful shade,
Fair Ariadne lay;
A chearless, solitary maid,
Tho’ once content and gay.

In tender accents thus I spoke,                                           5
To ease her lab’ring breast:
Dost thou complain of promise broke?
Art thou by want oppress’d?

Can I thy wounded heart relieve,
By pity’s healing balm?                                                 10
Or if some faithless youth deceive,
Thy perturbations calm?

“Ah no” (she said) “hard is my fate,
From lovely Theseus torn;
Thy consolation comes too late,                                        15
His absence thus I mourn.

The beams I shun of chearing day,
To Luna hence complain;
Like Philomel in mournful lay,
Pour forth my plaintive strain.                                    20

Remembrance sad, of former joys,
Is ever in my sight;
The cruel Phantom which destroys
My peace both day and night.

Thus am I plung’d in fell despair,                                       25
As Love my anguish mocks;
With sighs I rend the fragrant air,
Implore unpitying rocks.”

In me her lamentations wrought
Emotions of desire,                                                      30
To kindle in her ruffled thoughts,
Sparks of celestial fire.

Cease, lovely mourner! then I cry’d,
To yield to cank’ring woe;
Let slighted love, and fear subside,                                   35
And sorrow cease to flow.

Ingratitude in Men we find,
By various forms express’d;
Unlike the constant ray refin’d,
Which warms the female breast.                                40

Impetuous, and inclin’d to change,
They bear a lawless sway;
From flow’r to flow’r delight to range,
And flatter to betray.

Forbear to struggle with thy fate,                                        45
Opposing Heav’ns decrees;
Which grants things suited to thy state,
Pertaining to thy ease.

Yet oft denies the Lover’s pray’r,
And vain mistaken boon;                                               50
Regards their sighs as empty air,
If heard, repented soon.

Love, the invader of thy peace,
Subdued by Reason’s pow’r,
Shall feel his daring influence cease,                                  55
Nor cloud thy future hour.

Serenity shall grace thy brows,
With Friendship’s sacred band;
To her then offer up thy vows,
And yield thy willing hand.                                             60

Be thou the messenger of peace,
Dispensing holy joy;
Rely on hopes which ne’er can cease,
Nor mortal Man destroy.

Depend on him, whose pow’r alone,                                   65
Can give substantial rest;
Aspire to reach his heav’nly throne,
A meek and welcome guest.


2,14  Ariadne…Theseus Star-crossed lovers of Greek mythology; Ariadne hangs herself after being abandoned by Theseus (Britannica).

12 perturbations “The disturbance of the regular…state of a thing” (OED).

18 Luna The moon.

19 Philomel The nightingale.

20 plaintive strain Mournful song (OED).

23 Phantom “Something not real but appearing to the imagination” (Johnson).

25 fell “Intensely painful or destructive” (OED).

32 Sparks of celestial fire Interest in a love of God.

34 cank’ring From “canker,” meaning to “spread harmfully and insidiously” (OED).

41 Impetuous “Acting with or marked by great sudden or rash energy;…passionate, ardent” (OED).

50 boon “A favour, in response to asking” (OED).

SOURCE: Poems on Various Subjects (London, 1779), pp. 35-39. [Google Books]

 Edited by Molly Davies



“L.R.,” “Ode to Venus”


“Ode to Venus”

On seeing the Estate of Gretna-Green advertised for Sale in the News-papers of the Day.


When Horace pray’d thee, Queen of Love,
To quit in haste thy Cyprian grove,
And seek his Fair-one’s roof,
The paltry smoke her incense threw,
And message trite to all thy crew,                                          5
Had kept thee well aloof.

A juster plea, a menac’d wrong,
Unvarnish’d by the Poet’s song,
Demands thy instant aid;
Quick let the doves their wings prepare,                              10
Cupid alone attend thy car,
And speed to Gretna’s shade.

To Gretna speed; your strongest hold
Plutus attacks with arms of gold,
And thinks the fortress won;                                            15
But Hymen your approach will meet,
For only there he’s wont to meet
The Mother and her Son.

Fear not yon dotard’s sooty face,
His blacken’d hands, his hobbling pace,                                 20
‘Tis not thy spouse, sweet dame!
From nets of steel our smith abstains;
Fetters of silk, and rosy chains,
His gentler labours frame.

But Christie lifts his hammer high;                                            25
Oh!  swiftly, swiftly, Goddess, fly,
And vindicate your claim!
So Gretna’s priest shall chaunt your praise,
And frequent pairs enraptur’d raise
A column to your fame.                                                        30


Title Venus Roman goddess of beauty and love (OED).

Subtitle Gretna Green  A Scottish village that became a popular destination for English couples looking to elope after Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act (1753) was brought into force in England. The Newcastle Courant, for example, carried an advertisement for the “Sale of Gretna” by auction (No. 6354, 21 July 1798).

1 Horace Roman lyric poet (65-8 BCE), whose ode addressed to Venus (Odes, IV.1) is being paraphrased in this stanza.

2 Cyprian Of Cyprus, “an island in the eastern Mediterranean, famous in ancient times for the worship of Aphrodite or Venus” (OED).

4 paltry “Very small or meagre” (OED).

5 trite “Worn out by constant use or repetition” (OED).

7 juster “Well-founded; justifiable” (OED); menac’d “Threatened” (OED).

8 Unvarnish’d  “Not covered” (OED).

11 Cupid Roman god of love, son of Mercury and Venus (OED).

14 Plutus Greek God of abundance or wealth (Britannica).

16 Hymen God of marriage in Greek and Roman mythology (OED).

19 dotard “An old person” (OED); sooty face “At Gretna Green the marriage ceremony was usually  performed by the blacksmith” (Britannica).

23 Fetters Figuratively, a restraint (OED).

25 Christie James Christie (1730-1803), a Scottish auctioneer who founded the auction house Christie’s in London, England.

28 chaunt “A repeated rhythmic phrase” (OED).

SOURCE: The Gentleman’s Magazine (August 1798), p. 707. [J. Paul Leonard Library]

Edited by Jhadeeja Shahida Vaz




William Collins, “Ode to Peace”

“Ode to Peace”

O Thou who badst thy turtles bear
Swift from his grasp thy golden hair,
And sought’st thy native skies;
When War, by vultures drawn from far,
To Britain bent his iron car,                                                       5
And bade his storms arise!

—–Tir’d of his rude tyrannic sway,
Our youth shall fix some festive day,
His sullen shrines to burn :—
But thou, who hear’st the turning spheres,                            10
What sounds may charm thy partial ears,
And gain thy blest return!

O Peace, thy injur’d robes up-bind!
O rise! and leave not one behind
Of all thy beamy train:                                                        15
The British Lion, Goddess sweet,
Lies stretch’d on earth to kiss thy feet,
And own thy holier reign.

Let others court thy transient smile;
But come to grace thy western isle,                                          20
By warlike Honour led;
And, while, around her ports rejoice,
While all her sons adore thy choice,
With him for ever wed!


1 badst “Commanded” (OED).

3 sought’st “To go in search or quest of” (OED).

4 War Reference to the second Jacobite rebellion (1745-1746), Charles Edward Stuart, the “Young Pretender,” was finally defeated in the Battle of Culloden, in northern Scotland, on 16 April 1746 (Britannica).

6 bade “Bid” (OED).

16 The British Lion “The lion as the national emblem of Great Britain; hence often used figuratively for the British nation (OED).

19 transient “Temporary; fleeting” (OED).

SOURCE: The Poetical Works of Mr. William Collins (Glasgow, 1777), pp. 48-49 [Google Books]
Edited by Montel Mosuela

Robert Luck, “The Dry Joke”


“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.


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”


“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.


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”


 “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.


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