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Pleasures Of Imagination, The Analysis

Author: Poetry of Mark Akenside Type: Poetry Views: 223

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With what attractive charms this goodly frame

Of Nature touches the consenting hearts

Of mortal men; and what the pleasing stores

Which beauteous imitation thence derives

To deck the poet's, or the painter's toil;

My verse unfolds. Attend, ye gentle pow'rs

Of musical delight! and while I sing

Your gifts, your honours, dance around my strain.

Thou, smiling queen of every tuneful breast,

Indulgent Fancy! from the fruitful banks

Of Avon, whence thy rosy fingers cull

Fresh flowers and dews to sprinkle on the turf

Where Shakspeare lies, be present: and with thee

Let Fiction come, upon her vagrant wings

Wafting ten thousand colours through the air,

Which, by the glances of her magic eye,

She blends and shifts at will, through countless forms,

Her wild creation. Goddess of the lyre,

Which rules the accents of the moving sphere,

Wilt thou, eternal Harmony! descend

And join this festive train? for with thee comes

The guide, the guardian of their lovely sports,

Majestic Truth; and where Truth deigns to come,

Her sister Liberty will not be far.

Be present all ye genii, who conduct

The wandering footsteps of the youthful bard,

New to your springs and shades: who touch his ear

With finer sounds: who heighten to his eye

The bloom of Nature, and before him turn

The gayest, happiest attitude of things.


Or shall I mention, where celestial Truth

Her awful light discloses, to bestow

A more majestic pomp on Beauty's frame?

For man loves knowledge, and the beams of Truth

More welcome touch his understanding's eye,

Than all the blandishments of sound his ear,

Than all of taste his tongue. Nor ever yet

The melting rainbow's vernal-tinctur'd hues

To me have shone so pleasing, as when first

The hand of Science pointed out the path

In which the sun-beams gleaming from the west

Fall on the watery cloud, whose darksome veil

Involves the orient; and that trickling shower

Piercing through every crystalline convex

Of clustering dew-drops to their flight oppos'd,

Recoil at length where concave all behind

The internal surface on each glassy orb

Repeals their forward passage into air;

That thence direct they seek the radiant goal

From which their course began; and, as they strike

In different lines the gazer's obvious eye,

Assume a different lustre, through the brede

Of colours changing from the splendid rose

To the pale violet's dejected hue.


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