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O friend of Zosia ! friend of all,
Why thus in fond, though vain, relief,
Where Comfort sits with smiling air,
Dull must they be, and deaf, and blind!
* Watlington farm: the residence of William Hayward, Esq.
THE CAPTURE OF BAGDAD, 1787.
BY EYLES IRWIN, ESQ.
TO RICHARD LOVEL EDGWORTH, ES2.
To Mr. Edgworth this Ode is inscribed, because a penciled observation of that gentleman, on a note relative to this subject, in the Occasional Epistles, viz. " this would be a fine subject for Mr. Irwin's Muse," induced the attempt, to add another illustration of the power of Music, to the unrivalled Odes of Dryden, Pope, and Collins.
"BARE the sabre, poise the lance,
"Bid the chosen bands advance;
This mandate, streaming blood, Issued hoarse, from Tygris' flood,
Where AMURATH, victorious, rode. BAGDAD, in vain, resists his mighty powers, Her walls convulse! dispart, her towers!
Fear, flight, her pale defenders goad,
While sabres storm the breach, and javelins drift in
The servile soldiery the death-word hear,
More savage grow in cruelty's career,
And stain, with harmless gore, the warrior's generous
Hark! what notes distil from far,
Those notes pervade the royal ear-
Can song the harden'd breast assail, Or charm to rest, the dagger'd hand?
When justice and compassion fail, And lucre spurs the bigot band?
Arrested in his sanguine current wide, Fell AMURATH, indignant, eyes the tower,
Whence, gave the Bard, those numbers to the tidé,
And shook the apathy of lawless
But doubt his purpose crost-now first irresolute in ill!
Rous'd by the sight, the Bard invokes his art,
Hold captive woes the conqueror's care; Snatch Beauty's wrecks from War's tempestuous deep, And grow immortal, while for man they weep! Not so the tyrant bears his sway, Blood and terror print his way; Plague and famine, Nature's bane! And devastation close his train:
For him no grateful prayer ascends the sky,
Still loud the widow's curse, and orphan's vengeful cry!
And, like a statue stood, expos'd to public view!
"Proud city! bow thy head, "Low as th' Assyrian mead, "Thy short, tho' prosperous course, fulfill'd: "Thy Caliphs, fam'd no more! "Thy matrons, bath'd in gore, "Their lifeless babes deplore,
"So AMURATH has will'd!
"What now thy HAROUN's reign avails?
Cold, as his loves, and humbled, as his pride!"
The sounding weapon shook the hollow shore, By AMURATH's strong arm replac'd; Scar'd by the truth, his dubious breast, Where every virtue lay defac'd, Unbidden pangs possess'd:
Back on his splendid throne he, lab'ring, fell,
Black-ey'd maids, and streams of wine; "Given, to crown his votary's love, "In the blissful seats above;
Thy vow unhallow'd, AMURATH! forswear,
He ceas'd-the Sultan cry'd, "The Minstrel's boon is heard;
"Slaves! stop the purple tide"Be grace to all prefer'd!"
Blest Bard! whose design
Shall, to ages, emblazon thy merit!