7. “Stirring shades”: The Romantic Ode and Its Afterlives

  1. Charles Mahoney Associate Professor of English
  1. Esther Schor Professor

Published Online: 3 MAY 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444390650.ch7

A Companion to Romantic Poetry

A Companion to Romantic Poetry

How to Cite

Schor, E. (2010) “Stirring shades”: The Romantic Ode and Its Afterlives, in A Companion to Romantic Poetry (ed C. Mahoney), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444390650.ch7

Editor Information

  1. University of Connecticut, USA

Author Information

  1. Princeton University, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 MAY 2012
  2. Published Print: 26 NOV 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405135542

Online ISBN: 9781444390650



  • “Stirring shades” - The Romantic Ode and Its Afterlives;
  • Odes of Progress - “the sword, in myrtles dressed”;
  • Keats's “Ode on Indolence,” beneath the passive tenses - perceiving his own hand stirring the urn;
  • trio of shades, Liberty, the Nightingale, and Melancholy - “the Romantic Ode” is itself a shade, a lyric afterlife of two eighteenth-century discourses;
  • Gray's “Progress of Poesy” - poetry chaffing at “Freedom's holy flame”;
  • The Bard, uncannily prophesies poetry's revival in the hands of Shakespeare, Milton - more “distant warblings”;
  • odes of the revolutionary-Napoleonic era and its aftermath - pageants of progress;
  • Byron returns Liberty to the fray - in his odes on demise of Napoleon, Liberty's hands are stained with blood;
  • ode that sacrifices liberties to appetites - Charles Lamb's caustic “Pindaric Ode to the Tread Mill,” homage to Defoe's “Hymn to the Pillory”;
  • Baillie's genius for demystification - nowhere clearer than in her virtuosic “Lines to a Teapot”


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Odes of Progress: “the sword, in myrtles dressed”

  • Odes of Sentiment: “One morn before me were three figures seen”

  • Odes of Performance: “so I may applaud”

  • References and Further Reading