Ode IX: At Study

by Mark Akenside

Mark Akenside

Whither did my fancy stray?
By what magic drawn away
Have I left my studious theme?
From this philosophic page,
From the problems of the sage,
Wandering thro' a pleasing dream?
'Tis in vain alas! i find,
Much in vain, my zealous mind
Would to learned wisdom's throne
Dedicate each thoughtful hour:
Nature bids a softer power
Claim some minutes for his own.
Let the busy or the wise
View him with contemptuous eyes;
Love is native to the heart:
Guide its wishes as you will;
Without Love you'll find it still
Void in one essential part.
Me though no peculiar fair
Touches with a lover's care;
Though the pride of my desire
Asks immortal friendship's name,
Asks the palm of honest fame,
And the old heroic lyre;
Though the day have smoothly gone,
Or to letter'd leisure known,
Or in social duty spent;
Yet at eve my lonely breast
Seeks in vain for perfect rest;
Languishes for true content.

Last updated January 14, 2019