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Joseph Warton

Ode to Music

Queen of every moving measure,
Sweetest source of purest pleasure,
Music; why thy powers employ
Only for the sons of joy?
Only for the smiling guests
At natal or at nuptial feasts?
Rather thy lenient numbers pour
On those whom secret griefs devour;
Bid be still the throbbing hearts
Of those, whom death, or absence parts,
And, with some softly whisper'd air,
Smooth the brow of dumb despair.

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Ode to a Lady on the Spring

Lo! Spring, array'd in primrose-colour'd robe,
Fresh beauties sheds on each enliven'd scene,
With show'rs and sunshine cheers the smiling globe,
And mantles hill and vale in glowing green.

All nature feels her vital heat around,
The pregnant glebe now bursts with foodful grain,
With kindly warmth she opes the frozen ground,
And with new life informs the teeming plain.

She calls the fish from out their ouzy beds,
And animates the deep with genial love,
She bids the herds bound sportive o'er the meads,
And with glad songs awakes the joyous grove,

No more the glaring tiger roams for prey,
All-powerful love subdues his savage soul,
To find his spotted mate he darts away,
While gentler thoughts the thirst of blood controul.

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Verses on a Butterfly

Fair Child of Sun and Summer! we behold
With eager eyes thy wings bedropp'd with gold;
The purple spots that o'er thy mantle spread,
The sapphire's lively blue, the ruby's red,
Ten thousand various blended tints surprise,
Beyond the rainbow's hues or peacock's eyes:
Not Judah's king in eastern pomp array'd,
Whose charms allur'd from far the Sheban maid,
High on his glitt'ring throne, like you could shine
(Nature's completest miniature divine):
For thee the rose her balmy buds renews,
And silver lillies fill their cups with dews;
Flora for thee the laughing fields perfumes,
For thee Pomona sheds her choicest blooms,
Soft Zephyr wafts thee on his gentlest gales
O'er Hackwood's sunny hill and verdant vales;
For thee, gay queen of insects! do we rove
From walk to walk, from beauteous grove to grove;
And let the critics know, whose pedant pride
And awkward jests our sprightly sport deride:

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Ode to Fancy

O parent of each lovely Muse,
Thy spirit o'er my soul diffuse,
O'er all my artless songs preside,
My footsteps to thy temple guide.
To offer at thy turf-built shrine,
In golden cups no costly wine,
No murder'd fatling of the flock,
But flowers and honey from the rock.
O Nymph with loosely-flowing hair,
With buskin'd leg, and bosom bare,
Thy waist with myrtle-girdle bound,
Thy brows with Indian feathers crown'd,
Waving in thy snowy hand
An all-commanding magic wand,
Of pow'r to bid fresh gardens blow,
'Mid cheerless Lapland's barren snow,
Whose rapid wings thy flight convey
Through air, and over earth and sea,
While the vast various landscape lies
Conspicuous to thy piercing eyes.

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The Enthusiast, or the Lover of Nature

Ye green-rob'd Dryads, oft' at dusky Eve
By wondering Shepherds seen, to Forests brown,
To unfrequented Meads, and pathless Wilds,
Lead me from Gardens deckt with Art's vain Pomps.
Can gilt Alcoves, can Marble-mimic Gods,
Parterres embroider'd, Obelisks, and Urns
Of high Relief; can the long, spreading Lake,
Or Vista lessening to the Sight; can Stow
With all her Attic Fanes, such Raptures raise,
As the Thrush-haunted Copse, where lightly leaps
The fearful Fawn the rustling Leaves along,
And the brisk Squirrel sports from Bough to Bough,
While from an hollow Oak the busy Bees
Hum drowsy Lullabies? The Bards of old,
Fair Nature's Friends, sought such Retreats, to charm
Sweet Echo with their Songs; oft' too they met,
In Summer Evenings, near sequester'd Bow'rs,
Or Mountain-Nymph, or Muse, and eager learnt
The moral Strains she taught to mend Mankind.
As to a secret Grot Ægeria stole

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