Ode by Artemisia Bustleton

Miss Vardill

Ode on Lord Aircastle’s Visit


Awake, awake, ye slumb’ring Nine!
And fill with energy divine
 Of verse a humble Daughter,
Who, smit with love of sacred song
At inspiration’s fount has long
 Quaff’d the Castalian water.


Whether with charming Moore ye stray
In old Anacreon’s devious way
 Or with dear Skeffy toy;
With monks and ghosts fill Lewis’ head
Or still o’er Byron’s revels shed
 A melancholy joy:


Whether, with Scott, o’er Tow’r and Town
And Loch and Brae for flight ye bowne,
 Or with the Laureat sore;
Or with pathetic Rosa weep,
Or with Fitzgerald’s hearers sleep
 Amid the loyal roar;


Whether at classic Thurlow’s side
Ye sing to charm his new-made bride,
 Or, clad in simplest vest,
By Windermere’s romantic lake
Your morn and ev’ning walks ye take
 With Wordsworth and the rest,


Hear and attend! — Descend and sing!
To rapture tune each trembling string!
 Great Aircastle’s approach
To this, his scientific reign,
Must now be sun in loftiest strain,
 For hark! — I hear his coach.


O thou! — Mecaenas of the age!
Artistic, chemic, classic sage,
 Soul of inventions new!
Electric and mechanic art
Mnemonics, music, all impart
 A matchless grace to you!


And oh! — if fancy’s humbler flights,
Or pen that sweet romance indicts,
 That lofty soul may charm,
Permit a sad and widow’d dame
To kindle at thy living flame
 A spark her breast to warm!


But Ah! “a widow’d dame,” said I?
That word new fills each tear-fraught eye,
 Wakes woe that erst did sleep;
No more the tuneful period flows
With aught but Artemisia’s woes,
 And I can nought by weep!


Come then, my tears, speak tomes of grief,
And Aircastle shall give relief
 B’ Electromagus’ hand;
No more with unavailing woe
I rave, but strains pathetic flow
 O’er all th’ admiring land!