First two or three verses. #1

This task is quite simple to begin with.. I have got a long list of the names of eighteenth century poets. Each day I am going to copy out the first two verses of a handful of poems. Maybe some of what I read aloud and copy out will one day be engraved on a stone pillar of a fortress erected upon the solid foundations I am trying to lay down in the forefront of the mysterious Island in the back of my mind.

Joseph Addison (1st May 1672 – 17th June 1719)

The Resurrection, A Poem.

The Pencil’s glowing Lines and vast Command,
And Mankind rising from the Painter’s Hand,
The awful Judge array’d in beamy Light,
And Spectres trembling at the dreadful sight,
To sing, O! Muse, the pious Bard inspire,
And waken in his Breast the Sacred Fire.

The hallow’d Field, a bare white Wall of late,
Now cloath’d in gaudy Colours, shines in State;
And lest some little interval confess
It’s ancient simple Form, and homely Dress,
The skilful Artist laid o’er every Part,
The first Foundation of his future Art,
O’er the wide Frame his ductile Colours led,
And with thick Daubings all the Wall o’erspread.

Mark Akenside (9th November 1721 – 23rd June 1770)

Ode IX. To Sleep.

THOU silent pow’r, whose balmy sway
Charms every anxious thought away;
In whose divine oblivion drown’d,
Fatigue and toiling pain grow mild,
Love is with sweet success beguil’d
And sad remorse forgets her secret wound;
O whither hast thou flown, indulgent God?
God of kind shadows, and of healing dews,
O’er whom dost thou extend thy magic rod?
Around what peaceful couch thy opiate airs diffuse?

Lo, midnight from her starry reign
Looks awful down on earth and main,
The tuneful birds lie hush’d in sleep,
With all that crop the verdant food,
With all that skim the crystal flood,
Or haunt the cayerns of the rocky steep.
No rushing winds disturb the tufted bowr’s;
No wakeful sound the moonlight valley knows,
Save where the brook its liquid murmur pours,
And lulls the waving scene to more profound repose.

Mary Alcock (née Cumberland) (1741? – 28th May 1798)

The 55th Psalm

HEAR, oh my God! thy grace extend,
Hide not thyself, O Lord, from me!
Hear my petition, and befriend
The mournful cause I plead to thee!

The enemy with ceaseless strife,
Their minds on mischief ever set
Maliciously pursue my life,
And impious men their cause abet.

Joanna Baillie (11th September 1762 – 23rd February 1851)

Address to a Steam Vessel.

FREIGHTED with passengers of every sort,
A motley throng, thou leavest the busy port:
Thy long and ample deck, — where scattered lie,
Baskets and cloaks and shawls of crimson dye;
Where dogs and children through the crowd are straying,
And on his bench apart the fiddler playing,
While matron dames to tressled seats repair, —
Seems on the glassy waves, a floating fair.

Its dark form on the sky’s pale azure cast,
Towers from this clustering group thy pillared mast;
The dense smoke, issuing from its narrow vent,
IS to the air in curly volumes sent,
Which coiling and uncoiling on the wind,
Trails, like a writhing serpent, far behind.
Beneath, as each merged wheel its motion plies,
On either side the white-churned waters rise,
And newly parted from the noisy fray,
Track with light ridgy foam thy recent way,
Then far diverged, in many a lustrous line
On the still-moving distant surface shine.


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