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No further seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, (There they alike in trembling hope repose,)
The bosom of his father and his God.
Φωνανία συνείοισιν· εε
Δι το σαν ερμηνίων χαλίζει.
Pindar. Olym. il.
I. AWAKE, Æolian lyre, awake, And give to rapture all thy trembling strings. From Helicon's harmonious springs A thousand rills their mazy progress take; The laughing flowers that round them blow, Drink life and fragrance as they flow. Now the rich stream of music winds along, Deep, majestic, smooth, and strong, Through verdant vales, and Ceres' golden reign : Now rolling down the steep amain, Headlong, impetuous, see it pour : The rocks, and nodding groves, rebellow to the roar.
Oh! sovereign of the willing soul, Parent of sweet and solemn-breathing airs, Enchanting shell! the sullen cares,
And frantic passions, hear thy soft control :
On Thracia's hills the lord of war
Has curb'd the fury of his car,
And dropp'd his thirsty lance at thy command:
Perching on the scepter'd hand
Of Jove, thy magic lulls the feather'd king
With ruffled plumes, and flagging wing:
Quènch'd in dark clouds of slumber lie
The terrour of his beak, and lightning of his eye.
Thee the voice, the dance, obey,
Temper'd to thy warbled lay,
O'er Idalia's velvet-green
The rosy-crowned Loves are seen,
On Cytherea's day,
With antic sports and blue-ey'd pleasures,
Frisking light in frolic measures ;
Now pursuing, now retreating,
Now in circling troops they meet :
To brisk notes in cadence beating
Glance their many-twinkling feet.
Slow-melting strains their queen's approach declare:
Where'er she turns, the Graces homage pay,
With arts sublime, that float upon the air
In gliding state she wins her easy way:
O’er her warm cheek, and rising bosom, move
The bloom of young Desire, and purple light of Love.
Man's feeble race what ills await, Labour and Penury, the racks of Pain, Disease, and Sorrow's weeping train,
And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate!
The fond complaint, my song, disprove,
And justify the laws of Jove.
Say, has he given in vain the heavenly Muse ?
Night, and all her sickly dews,
Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry,
He gives to range the dreary sky:
Till down the eastern cliffs afar
Hyperion's march they spy, and glittering shafts of
In climes beyond the solar road, Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam, The Muse has broke the twilight gloom
To cheer the shivering native's dull abode. And oft, beneath the odorous shade Of Chili's boundless forests laid, She deigns to hear the savage youth repeat, In loose numbers wildly sweet, Their feather-cinctur'd chiefs, and dusky loves. Her track, where'er the goddess roves, Glory pursue, and generous Shame, Th' unconquerable mind, and Freedom's holy
Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep,
Isles, that crown th' Ægean deep,
Fields, that cool Ilissus laves,
Or where Mæander's amber waves
In lingering labyrinths creep,
How do you tuneful Echoes languish
Mute, but to the voice of Anguish ?
Where each old poetic mountain
Inspiration breath'd around :
Every shade and hallow'd fountain
Murmur’d deep a solemn sound :
Till the sad Nine, in Greece's evil hour,
Left their Parnassus, for the Latian plains
Alike they scorn the pomp of tyrant-power,
And coward Vice, that revels in her chains. When Latium had her lofty spirit lost, They sought, oh Albion ! next thy sea-encircled coast.
Far from the Sun and summer-gale,
In thy green lap was Nature's darling * laid,
What time, where lucid Avon stray'd,
To him the mighty mother did unveil
Her aweful face : the dauntless child
Stretch'd forth his little arms, and smil'd.
“ This pencil take,” she said, “ whose colours clear
Richly paint the vernal year :
Thine too these golden keys, immortal boy!
This can unlock the gates of Joy ;
Of Horrour that, and thrilling fears,
Or ope the sacred source of sympathetic tears.
Nor second he t, that rode sublime
Upon the seraph-wings of Ecstasy,
The secrets of th' abyss to spy. He pass’d the flaming bounds of place and time:
The living throne, the sapphire-blaze,
Where angels tremble, while they gaze,
He saw; but, blasted with excess of light,
Clos'd his eyes in endless night.
Behold, where Dryden's less presumptuous car,
Wide o'er the fields of Glory bear
Two coursers of ethereal race*,
With necks in thunder cloth’d, and long-resound-
Hark, his hands the lyre explore !
Bright-ey'd Fancy, hovering o’er,
Scatters from her pictur'd urn
Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn,
But ah! 't is heard no more
Oh! lyre divine, what daring spirit
Wakes thee now? though he inherit
Nor the pride, nor ample pinion,
That the Theban eagle bear,
Sailing with supreme dominion
Through the azure deep of air :
Yet oft before his infant eyes would run
Such forms as glitter in the Muse's ray
With orient hues, unborrow'd of the Sun :
Yet shall he inount, and keep his distant way
Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate,
Beneath the good how far -- but far above the great.
* Meant to express the stately march and sounding energy of Dryden's rhymes.