|First Line||In earliest times, ere man had learn'd|
Ode [Literature; Classical themes].
Transcribe from Yorke, Charles. "Stanzas, in the manner of Waller: occasioned by a Receipt to make Ink, given to the Author by a Lady." The Gentleman's Magazine: And Historical Chronicle, vol. 40, January 1770, p. 39. British Periodicals, ProquestID: 8304960.
In earliest times, ere man had learn'd
His sense in writing to impart,
With inward anguish oft he burn'd,
His friend unconscious of the smart.
Alone he pin'd in thickest shade,
Near murm'ring waters sooth'd his grief,
Of senseless rocks companions made,
And from their echoes sought relief.
Cadmus, 'tis said, did first reveal
How letters should the mind express,
And taught to grave with pointed steel,
On waxen tablets its distress.
Soon was the feeble waxen trace
Supply'd by Ink's unfading spot,
Which to remotest climes conveys,
In clearest marks, the secret thought.
Blest be his chymic hand that gave
The world to know so great a good!
Hard! that his name it should not save,
Who first pour'd forth the fable flood.
'Tis this consigns to endless praise
The hero's valour, stateman's art,
Historic truth and fabling lays,
The maiden's eyes, the lover's heart.
If still oblivion's Lethe live
Immortal in poetic lore,
What honours shall the stream receive
Sacred to memr'y's better pow'r!
Who now from Helicon's fam'd well
The drops celestial would request,
When by Ink's magic he can spell
The image of his faithful breast?
This kindly spares the modest tongue
To speak aloud the pleasing pain;
Aided by this, in tuneful song
Fond vows the virgin-paper stain.
Though stain'd, yet innocent of fame,
No blush th'indignant reader warms,
If well express'd the poet's flame
Inspir'd by fair Maria's charms.
|Archive||Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library|
Local title: `Stanzas in the manner of Waller: occasioned by a receipt to make ink, given to the author by a lady'
Attributed author: n/a
Other variants: n/a