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Through toil or peril: only do not thou
« • Lo! I am here to answer to your vows,
Talks through the cliffs, and murmuring o'er the
Repeats the accents we shall part no more.
“ She ended ; and the whole romantic scene
« « There let thy soul acknowledge its complaint How blind ! how impious! There behold the ways Of Heaven's eternal destiny to man, For ever just, benevolent, and wise : That Virtue's aweful steps, howe'er pursued By vexing Fortune and intrusive Pain, Should never be divided from her chaste, Her fair attendant, Pleasure. Need I urge Thy tardy thought through all the various round Of this existence, that thy softening soul
At length may learn what energy the hand Of Virtue mingles in the bitter tide Of passion, swelling with distress and pain To mitigate the sharp with gracious drops Of cordial pleasure ? Ask the faithful youth Why the cold urn of her whom long he lov'd So often fills his arms; so often draws His lonely footsteps at the silent hour, To pay the mournful tribute of his tears? Oh! he will tell thee, that the wealth of worlds Should ne'er seduce his bosom to forego That sacred hour, when, stealing from the noise Of care and envy, sweet remembrance soothes With Virtue's kindest looks his aching breast, Aná turns his tears to rapture. - Ask the crowd Which flies impatient from the village-walk To climb the neighbouring cliffs, when far below The cruel winds have hurl’d upon the coast Some helpless bark; while sacred Pity melts The general eye, or Terrour's icy hand Smites their distorted limbs and horrent hair; While every mother closer to her breast Catches her child, and pointing where the waves Foam through the shatter'd vessel, shrieks aloud, As one poor wretch that spreads his piteous arms For succour, swallow'd by the roaring surge, As now another, dash'd against the rock, Drops lifeless down: 0! deemest thou indeed No kind endearment here by Nature given To mutual terrour and Compassion's tears? No sweetly. melting softness which attracts, O’er all that edge of pain, the social powers
To this their proper action and their end ?
Ask thy own heart; when at the midnight hour, Slow through that studious gloom thy pausing eye, Led by the glimmering taper, moves around The sacred volumes of the dead, the songs Of Grecian bards, and records writ by Fame For Grecian heroes, where the present power Of Heaven and Earth surveys the immortal page Even as a father blessing, while he reads The praises of his son. If then thy soul, Spurning the yoke of these inglorious days, Mix in their deeds and kindle with their flame; Say, when the prospect blackens on thy view, When rooted from the base, heroic states Mourn in the dust, and tremble at the frown Of curst Ambition : when the pious band Of youths who fought for freedom and their sires, Lie side by side in gore; when ruffian Pride Usurps the throne of Justice, turns the pomp Of public power, the majesty of rule, The sword, the laurel, and the purple robe, To slavish, empty pageants, to adorn A tyrant's walk, and glitter in the eyes Of such as bow the knee; when honour'd urns Of patriots and of chiefs, the aweful bust And storied arch, to glut the coward-age Of regal Envy, strew the public way With hallow'd ruins; when the Muse's haunt, The marble porch where Wisdom wont to talk With Socrates or Tully, hears no more, Save the hoarse jargon of contentious monks, Or female superstition's midnight prayer ;
When ruthless Rapine from the hand of Time