Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

FRAGMENT WRITTEN AT MIDNIGHT, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: Oh, great apollo! By whose equal aid
Last Line: With her who calls me from thy wonder now.'

OH, great Apollo! by whose equal aid
The verse is written, and the med'cine made;
Shall thus a boaster, with his fourfold powers,
In triumph scorn this sacred art of ours?
Insulting quack! on thy sad business go,
And land the stranger on this world of woe.
Still I pass on, and now before me find
The restless ocean, emblem of my mind;
There wave on wave, here thought on thought succeeds,
Their produce idle works, and idle weeds:
Dark is the prospect o'er the rolling sea,
But not more dark than my sad views to me;
Yet from the rising moon the light beams dance
In troubled splendour o'er the wide expanse;
So on my soul, whom cares and troubles fright,
The Muse pours comfort in a flood of light. --
Shine out, fair flood! until the day-star flings
His brighter rays on all sublunar things.
'Why in such haste? by all the powers of wit,
I have against thee neither bond nor writ;
If thou'rt a poet, now indulge the flight
Of thy fine fancy in this dubious light;
Cold, gloom, and silence shall assist thy rhyme,
And all things meet to form the true sublime.' --
'Shall I, preserver deem'd around the place,
With abject rhymes a doctor's name disgrace?
Nor doctor solely, in the healing art
I'm all in all, and all in every part;
Wise Scotland's boast let that diploma be
Which gave me right to claim the golden fee:
Praise, then, I claim, to skilful surgeon due,
For mine th' advice and operation too;
And, fearing all the vile compounding tribe,
I make myself the med'cines I prescribe;
Mine, too, the chemic art; and not a drop
Goes to my patients from a vulgar shop.
But chief my fame and fortune I command
From the rare skill of this obstetric hand:
This our chaste dames and prudent wives allow,
With her who calls me from thy wonder now.'

Discover our Poem Explanations and Poet Analyses!

Other Poems of Interest...

Home: PoetryExplorer.net