Robert Southey

Here you will find the Poem Birth-Day Ode 03 of poet Robert Southey

Birth-Day Ode 03

And wouldst thou seek the low abode
 Where PEACE delights to dwell?
 Pause Traveller on thy way of life!
 With many a snare and peril rife
 Is that long labyrinth of road:
 Dark is the vale of years before
 Pause Traveller on thy way!
 Nor dare the dangerous path explore
Till old EXPERIENCE comes to lend his leading ray.

 Not he who comes with lanthorn light
 Shall guide thy groping pace aright
 With faltering feet and slow;
 No! let him rear the torch on high
 And every maze shall meet thine eye,
 And every snare and every foe;
 Then with steady step and strong,
 Traveller, shalt thou march along.

 Tho' POWER invite thee to her hall,
 Regard not thou her tempting call
 Her splendors meteor glare;
 Tho' courteous Flattery there await
 And Wealth adorn the dome of State,
 There stalks the midnight spectre CARE;
 PEACE, Traveller! does not sojourn there.

 If FAME allure thee, climb not thou
 To that steep mountain's craggy brow
 Where stands her stately pile;
 For far from thence does PEACE abide,
 And thou shall find FAME'S favouring smile
Cold as the feeble Sun on Heclas snow-clad side,

And Traveller! as thou hopest to find
 That low and loved abode,
 Retire thee from the thronging road
And shun the mob of human kind.
Ah I hear how old EXPERIENCE schools,
"Fly fly the crowd of Knaves and Fools
 "And thou shalt fly from woe;
"The one thy heedless heart will greet
"With Judas smile, and thou wilt meet
 "In every Fool a Foe!"

So safely mayest thou pass from these,
And reach secure the home of PEACE,
 And FRIENDSHIP find thee there.
No happier state can mortal know,
No happier lot can Earth bestow
 If LOVE thy lot shall share.
Yet still CONTENT with him may dwell
 Whom HYMEN will not bless,
And VIRTUE sojourn in the cell