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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 7/Ode on Science

ODE ON SCIENCE[1].


O, heavenly born! in deepest dells
If fairest science ever dwells
Beneath the mossy cave;
Indulge the verdure of the woods,
With azure beauty gild the floods,
And flowery carpets lave.

For, melancholy ever reigns
Delighted in the sylvan scenes
With scientifick light;
While Dian, huntress of the vales,
Seeks lulling sounds and fanning gales,
Though wrapt from mortal sight.

Yet, goddess, yet the way explore
With magick rites and heathen lore
Obstructed and depress'd:
Till Wisdom give the sacred Nine,
Untaught, not uninspir’d, to shine,
By Reason's power redressed.

When Solon and Lycurgus taught,
To moralize the human thought
Of mad opinion's maze,
To erring zeal they gave new laws,
Thy charms, Liberty, the cause
That blends congenial rays.

Bid bright Astræa gild the morn,
Or bid a hundred suns be born,
To hecatomb the year;
Without thy aid, in vain the poles,
In vain the zodiac system rolls,
In vain the lunar sphere.

Come, fairest princess of the throng,
Bring sweet philosophy along,
In metaphysick dreams;
While raptur'd bards no more behold
A vernal age of purer gold,
In Heliconian streams.

Drive Thraldom with malignant hand,
To curse some other destin’d land,
By Folly led astray:
Ierne bear on azure wing;
Energick let her soar, and sing
Thy universal sway.

So, when Amphion bade the lyre
To more majestick sound aspire,
Behold the madding throng,
In wonder and oblivion drown'd,
To sculpture turn'd by magick sound,
And petrifying song.


  1. This is written in the same style, and with the same design, as his Love Song in the modern Taste.