1793
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ode to Rage.

Universal Magazine 92 (April 1793) 289.

Eusebius


An imitation of Milton's L'Allegro in which the whole ode is developed out of the "Hence..." opening of the original. While the imagery of rage is predictable, it is possible that the poet recalls the Pyrocles episode in the second book of the Faerie Queene: "Furies shake their hissing hair, | And the fiery torches glare; | Hence enkindled flames the breast | That admits thee as its guest" — the concluding couplet suggests as much: "Hence vindictive passion flee, | I'm enrag'd alone at thee." Compare William Mason's Il Bellicoso (1744). The poem is signed "Eusebius, Yedingham, March 25, 1793." His Ode to Rage, in a different measure, was published in the Universal Magazine for June 1794. Eusebius was a frequent contributor.

While there are no political references in the poem, its topic was doubtless suggested by the rising party virulence inflamed in Britain by the French Revolution.



Hence, inflaming pow'r, depart!
Ne'er shalt thou invade my heart;
Softer passions there shall reign,
Passions that infuse no pain.
When the deeply-wounded breast
Has receiv'd thee as its guest,
Joy and peace that moment flee
From the heart that harbours thee.
Gloomy horrors on thee wait,
Fell Revenge and deadly Hate;
Furies shake their hissing hair,
And the fiery torches glare;
Hence enkindled flames the breast
That admits thee as its guest;
Far all the joy and pleasures flee
From the heart that harbours thee.
Where the steely falchions blaze,
(Widely flash the gleaming blaze)
And the clanging trump from far
Sounds the prelude of the war;
Thou that pantest then for blood,
Glut thyself and swell the flood:
Ev'ry throbbing heart inspire
With thy hot vindictive fire;
But inflaming passion flee
Far away, I beg, from me.
Flashing eyes that flaming roll
Then bespeak the vengeful soul.
Sounds terrific, horrid cries,
Victor shouts, and groans arise.
Stalking o'er the heaps of dead,
Blood-stain'd Vengeance rears her head,
And with thee thro' all the plain,
Fiercely wakes the war amain.
Scenes that give delight to thee
May they never visit me.
Hence depart, and seek the plains,
Where infernal Discord reigns,
Or where storms receive their birth;
Thence impel the tempest forth;
Make the billows louder roar,
Fierce blasts assail the shore;
Mid the whirlwind's rushing stream
Reign thou there, and reign supreme:
But betake thee from my breast,
There shall rule a milder guest.
Hence vindictive passion flee,
I'm enrag'd alone at thee.

[p. 289]