1788
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

An Ode to Indifference.

European Magazine 14 (July 1788) 68.

Camisis


A Miltonic allegorical ode in four irregular stanzas, signed "Camisis." The poet sings the praises of Sensibility: "Sparkles the tear in Virtue's eye, | My bosom heaves the honest sigh; | Meets my shock'd sight the vagrant child, | My ev'ry softer sense grows wild: | The change I hail — I hail the start, | And stamp his injur'd form full on my bleeding heart." Camisis was a regular contributor to the European Magazine at this period.



Indifference hence! I loathe thy listless reign;
I loathe that torpid power which lulls thy soul;
Thy boasted freedom from all pain,
My manlier mind shall ne'er controul:
Ne'er shall the shame of feeling for distress,
Thy brutal charms enhance or make my transports less.

Rather may lightest griefs dissolve,
And deepest tears for ever glow;
For ever other's ills involve,
Than lost this heart to sympathetic woe!
What though no cries thy pity move,
No agonizing shrieks thy selfish love;
What though misfortunes not appal,
And orphan wretches vainly call;
Yet say — are these the weighty joys
Thy lifeless votaries so much prize?
Are these, sure emblems of a giant vice,
The alien comforts that entice?
Delusive thought! such bliss be thine;
To read the soul, and feel, are mine.

Sparkles the tear in Virtue's eye,
My bosom heaves the honest sigh;
Meets my shock'd sight the vagrant child,
My ev'ry softer sense grows wild:
The change I hail — I hail the start,
And stamp his injur'd form full on my bleeding heart.

Not so thy lost lethargic mind;
To all — ev'n to thyself unkind.
For know, to such of human race
As Sensibility embrace,
Though hardest woes more hard appear,
Severest sorrows more severe,
Reverse the scene, thou soon shalt find,
The kindest comforts yet more kind,
The happiest hour more happy still,
More warm the tend'rest warmest will.
Hence then, Indifference hence! nor dare to stay:
Thy torpid power I loathe — I loathe thy listless sway.

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