Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ODES: BOOK 2: ODE 9. AT STUDY, by MARK AKENSIDE

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ODES: BOOK 2: ODE 9. AT STUDY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Whither did my fancy stray?
Last Line: Languishes for true content.
Subject(s): Duty


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 through 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.

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