Ode for the Attic Chest

Miss Porden


Descend ye bright Aonian choir
And string anew Scriblerus’ slumbering lyre!
Inspire his mounting song to claim
The laureate wreath of Attic fame,
What not his the purple juice
Oporto’s clustering vines produce
Which borne across the restless main
From Tagus’ golden sanded streams
The British laurels’ veins inflames
While peers, and princes, slumber o’er his strain
Tho shrunk Castalia’s warbled rills
And Aganippe’s scarce distills
His altered course meander mourns
Cephisus weeps his empty urns
And famed Ilyssus dwindled long
Now flows but in Fitzgerald’s song
Tho niggard rulers crib the antient sack
Nor force nor strength Scriblerus’ strain shall lack!!!


Mine be that tide of liquid flame
That boasts Batavia’s humble name
Or what should more a Briton’s breast inspire
True English Hodges’ best entire!!
Or mine that limpid stream conveyed
In cylinders of iron made
Beneath Augusta’s pavement laid
What tho full many a youth complain
Of stockings splashed, or horse o’erthrown
Of carriage broke, or broken bone
Or neckcloth spoilt by iron stains.


The wise directors spurn the mean controls
The puny prejudice of vulgar souls
In Berners Street
Their famed Committee meet
Thence, as their common fount in mingled store
Pure Attic verse, and crystal water pour.
The grateful town deep quaffs th’ inspiring tide
At once with water and with wit supplied,
The frigid wave with magic full
Enchafes the stupid, warms the dull
And as potassium in a trice
Self-kindled burns upon the ice
E’en thus as genius quaffs the wondrous stream
Again his slumb’ring fires inflame
Soar o’er the skies and grasp the wreath of fame!


Already do I feel the glow!
In fancy’s prospect even now
I see the embryo laurels grow!
Fair as the Sybil’s golden bough!
Or that bright branch Prasildo wore
That in Medusa’s garden shone.
Long shouts of Attic praise the welkin rend!
As Ellen’s hands the wreath extend
And place the verdant honors on my brow!
To all my works the glad subscribers pour!
Swells the long list of fashion on my eye!
While wealthy witlings profit by my lore
My overplus of fame in secret buy
Grows in my view the turtle groaning board
My bright buffet with Gallia’s vintage stored
From golden cups the sparkling juice is poured!
Its spirit feeds my genius’ mounting flame
I revel in their wealth, they share my fame!


Ye Alexanders, Caesars, long renowned!
Boast no more your deeds sublime
Conquests over death and time
My fame shall soar, when yours is sunk and drown’d!!!
Homer, Virgil fade away
At my feet their laurels lay!
Milton stoops from Heaven, I see
Leaves his sapphire throne for me!
My works shall live in royal quarto bound
When theirs in humble duodecimo are found!
Safe in the Chest shall live my deathless lay
Its lock, the thievish hand of time shall stay!!!