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Unchang’d is thy immortal prize,
In undecaying bloom.
By thee protected I defy
Of ignorance and spite :
Of undiscerning wit.
In thy retreat I rest:
In all thy graces drest.
He bid Ilyssus' tuneful stream
Of perfect, fair, and good:
In awful silence stood.
Reclaim'd her wild licentious youth,
And felt its just controul:
O'er all their senses stole.
Thy breath inspires the poet's song,
The hero's gen'rous strife ;
Of still, domestic life.
No more to fabled names confin'd, To thee! supreme, all-perfect mind,
My thoughts direct their flight: Wisdom's thy gift, and all her force From thee deriv’d, unchanging source
Of intellectual light!
O send her sure, her steady ray
Thro’ life's perplexing road:
Of Folly's painted show:
Is vanity and woe.
To the Foregoing
ODE TO WISDOM.
Now see my Goddess, earthly born,
With smiling looks, and sparkling eyes, And with a bloom that shames the morn
New risen in the eastern skies!
Furnish'd from Nature's boundless store,
A nymph of pleasure's laughing train, Stranger to all the wise explore,
She proves all far-sought knowledge vain.
Untaught as Venus, when she found
Herself first floating on the sea,
For shame to look some other way :
And unaccomplish'd all as Eve
In the first morning of her life,
To take her hand, and call her Wife.
Yet there is something in her face,
Tho'she's unread in Plato's lore, Might bring even Plato to disgrace,
For leaving precepts taught before:
And there is magic in her eye,
Tho' she's unskilled to conjure down The pale moon from th' affrighted sky,
Would draw Endymion from the moon :
And there are words that she can speak,
Most easy to be understood,
By Helen talk'd, when Paris woo'd:
And she has raptures in her power,
More worth than all the flattering claim Of learning's unsubstantial dower,
In present praise, or future fame.
Let me but kiss her soft warm hand,
And let me whisper in her ear What Knowledge would not understand,
And Wisdom would disdain to hear.
And let her listen to my tale,
And let one smiling blush arise, Best omen that my vows prevail !
I'll scorn the scorn of all the wise.