1776
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

An Ode to Candor.

Morning Post and Daily Advertiser (4 April 1776).

Impartialist


An allegorical ode, after Milton's L'Allegro, signed "Impartialist." The poet imitates the genealogical portion of Milton's companion poems before entering into what is in effect an Ode to Criticism: "O Goddess of the feeling mind! | To modest merit never blind! | Whose lips are ever slow to blame, | Whose warm applause is more than fame; | Whose pride it is, that work to spy | Unnotic'd by the vulgar eye." The poet was a regular contributor to the Morning Post at this period.



O lovely Virgin! thee, of yore
To manly sense, Good Humour bore;
Whom with the Wood-Nymphs he espied
Sporting on Ladona's flow'ry side,
Ere Pan had left th' Arcadian grove,
The seat of Innocence and Love!
There with the Graces didst thou stray,
Who, smitten with thy infant play,
Cloath'd thee in vest of purest white,
And crown'd with garlands of delight;
Till now, mature, with blushes chaste,
They gave thy willing hands to Taste:
He led thee to th' Aonian Mount,
Where, bathing in the sacred fount,
Thou sought'st with speed the hallowed quire
And heard'st with speed the hallowed quire
Each Muse attun'd her sweetest lays,
Intent to share thy heart-felt praise!

O Goddess of the feeling mind!
To modest merit never blind!
Whose lips are ever slow to blame,
Whose warm applause is more than fame;
Whose pride it is, that work to spy
Unnotic'd by the vulgar eye;
To save from Error's partial gloom,
And bid desert its rank assume;
Whom Envy views with look malign,
And shrinking, owns thy power divine;
Whom hasty Censure's flippant train,
And bigot Spleen, assail in vain;
Before whom Malice stands confest,
Howe'er by Wit or Fancy drest;
O heed thy suppliant's humble pray'r!
Do thou, O Goddess! still be near!
From Falsehood, and from Flattery free,
Still let my breast be warm with thee!

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