TO THE MUSE
by: Mark Akenside (1721-1770)
POEMS BY MARK AKENSIDE
- ueen of my songs, harmonious maid,
- Ah! why hast thou withdrawn thy aid?
- Ah! why forsaken thus my breast
- With inauspicious damps oppress'd?
- Where is the dread prophetic heat
- With which my bosom wont to beat?
- Where all the bright mysterious dreams
- Of haunted groves and tuneful streams,
- That woo'd my genius to divinest themes?
- Say, goddess, can the festal board,
- Or young Olympia's form adored;
- Say, can the pomp of promised fame
- Relume thy faint, thy dying flame?
- Or have melodious airs the power
- To give one free, poetic hour?
- Or, from amid the Elysian train,
- The soul of Milton shall I gain,
- To win thee back with some celestial strain?
- O powerful strain! O sacred soul!
- His numbers every sense control:
- And now again my bosom burns;
- The Muse, the Muse herself returns.
- Such on the banks of Tyne, confess'd,
- I hail'd the fair immortal guest,
- When first she seal'd me for her own,
- Made all her blissful treasures known,
- And bade me swear to follow Her alone.