Ode V; On Love Of Praise

A poem by Mark Akenside

Of all the springs within the mind
Which prompt her steps in fortune's maze,
From none more pleasing aid we find
Than from the genuine love of praise.
Nor any partial, private end
Such reverence to the public bears;
Nor any passion, virtue's friend,
So like to virtue's self appears.
For who in glory can delight
Without delight in glorious deeds?
What man a charming voice can slight,
Who courts the echo that succeeds?

But not the echo on the voice
More, than on virtue praise, depends;
To which, of course, it's real price
The judgment of the praiser lends.
If praise then with religious awe
From the sole perfect judge be sought,
A nobler aim, a purer law
Nor priest, nor bard, nor sage hath taught.
With which in character the same
Tho' in an humbler sphere it lies,
I count that soul of human fame,
The suffrage of the good and wise.

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