1763
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Farewell to Hope. An Ode.

The Poetical Calendar. Containing a Collection of scarce and valuable Pieces of Poetry: with Variety of Originals and Translations, by the most eminent Hands. Intended as a Supplement to Mr. Dodsley's Collection. 12 vols [Francis Fawkes and William Woty, eds.]

Rev. John Duncombe


An ode, signed "J. D.," in octosyllabic couplets, in which the desponding poet ventures where "Pale Melancholy takes her round, | And o'er the mouldering, hallow'd ground | Where lovers lie, desponding stands, | And, dumb with pity, wrings her hands." A visionary figure appears and declares, "Mortal, be wise! and, even in death, | Let Hope receive thy parting breath!" R. D. Havens includes Farewell to Hope in his bibliography of poems influenced by Milton's L'Allegro and Il Penseroso.



Hope, sweetest child of Fancy born,
Tho' transient as the dew of morn,
Thou who canst charm, with sound and light,
The deafen'd ear, and darken'd sight,
And in dry deserts glad the swains
With bubbling springs, and cultur'd plains;
No more invent thy airy schemes,
Nor mock me with fantastic dreams;
No more thy flattering stories tell,
Deceitful prattler, Hope, farewell!

Adieu the pleasing prospect, plann'd
By Fancy's fair delusive hand!
No more that momentary ray,
Which gilds by fits a showery day,
Shall show me, in a distant grove,
Health, friendship, peace, content and love;
While many a nymph, and many a youth,
By Hymen join'd, and crown'd by Truth,
On verdant hillocks danc'd and play'd,
Or warbled in the hawthorn shade.

No more, with sweet endearing talk,
Shalt thou beguile my vernal walk;
No more, as thro' the wintry vale,
We journey on, with many a tale
Of fancied pleasure, cheer the day,
And strow with flowers the rugged way,
Still pointing to that rural cell
Where Innocence and Stella dwell;
Charm with the bubbling of a rill,
That gushes from the neighbouring hill.

O let me now in silence rove
Thro' yon sequester'd cypress grove,
Where, crown'd with leaves of baleful yew,
And circled by a Stygian crew,
(When, from the ivy-mantled tower,
The cock proclaims the midnight hour)
Pale Melancholy takes her round,
And o'er the mouldering, hallow'd ground
Where lovers lie, desponding stands,
And, dumb with pity, wrings her hands.

While thus, with gloomy thoughts opprest,
Heart-piercing sorrow heav'd my breast,
A heavenly form swift gliding by,
With healing comfort in her eye,
A look of winning softness cast,
And thus addrest me as she past:
"Mortal, be wise! and, even in death,
Let Hope receive thy parting breath!
Securely trust my guardian care,
And, led by Reason, shun Despair."

[10:73-74]