John Logan

(1748-1788 / Scotland)

Ode To a Young Lady


Maria, bright with beauty's glow,
In conscious gayety you go
The pride of all the park:
Attracted groups in silence gaze
And soft behind you hear the praise,
And whisper of the spark.

In fancy's airy chariot whirl'd,
You make the circle of this world,
And dance a dizzy round:
The maids and kindling youths behold
You triumph o'er the envious old,
The queen of beauty crown'd.

Where'er the beams of fortune blaze,
Or fashion's whispering zephyr plays,
The insect tribe attends;
Gay glittering through a summer's day,
The silken myriads melt away
Before a sun descends.

Divorced from elegant delight,
The vulgar Venus holds her night
An alien to the skies;
Her bosom breathes no finer fire,
No radiance of divine desire
Illumes responsive eyes.

Gods! shall a sordid son of earth
Enfold a form of heavenly birth,
And ravish joys divine;
An angel bless unconscious arms?
The circle of surrender'd charms
Unhallowed hands entwine?

The absent day; the broken dream;
The vision wild; the sudden scream;
Tears that unbidden flow! -
Ah! let no sense of griefs profound,
That beauteous bosom ever wound,
With unavailing wo!

The wild enchanter youth beguiles,
And fancy's fairy landscape smiles
With more than nature's bloom;
The spring of Eden paints your bowers,
Unsetting suns your promised hours
With golden light illume.

A hand advancing strikes the bell!
That sound dissolves the magic spell,
And all the charm is gone!
The visionary landscape flies:
At once the aerial music dies;
In wilds you walk alone.

Howe'er the wind of fortune blows,
Or sadly-severing fate dispose
Our everlasting doom;
Impressions never felt before,
And transports to return no more,
Will haunt me to the tomb!

My God! the pangs of nature pass'd,
Will e'er a kind remembrance last
Of pleasures sadly sweet?
Can love assume a calmer name?
My eyes with friendship's angel flame,
An angel's beauty meet?

Ah! should that first of finer forms
Require, through life's impending storms,
A sympathy of soul;
The loved Maria of the mind
Will send me, on the wings of wind,
To Indus or the Pole.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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