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O friend of Zosia! friend of all,
Whom misery, pain, and want enthral !
Be comforted ! though ne'er again
Thy mother's hand thy hand shall strain;
Though never shall she feel thy cares,
Congenial joys her spirit shares:
Congenial, yet superior, giv'n
By sister angels in her native heav'n.
Oh! who would weep the lov'd-one dead,
When death is bliss! be comforted.
Why thus in fond, though vain, relief,
With weeping praise perpetuate grief!
Why on the dead, the absent, muse?
And joy from present friends refuse !
Why dwell on yonder mournful dome,
And shun those friends' delightful home!
'Twere hard to sing thy varying charm,
Thou Cottage, Mansion, Village, Farm* :
Thou beautiful Epitome
Of all that useful is and rare,
Where Comfort sits with smiling air,
And laughing Hospitality.
'Twere hard to sing—And harder still
The dearer charms those halls that fill.
"Twere hard to sing--The sun is low;
Quick to the lovely Farm we go,
Its strongest spells to find;
And cluster'd round the blazing fire,
When beauty, virtue, wit inspire,
O they that learn not to admire,
Dull must they be, and deaf, and blind!
* Watlington farm: the residence of William Hayward, Esq.
THE CAPTURE OF BAGDAD, 1787.
TO RICHARD LOVEL EDGWORTH, ES2. To Mr. Edgworth this Ode is inscribed, because a penciled ob
servation 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,
so Bid the chosen bands advance;
“ Rous'd by the trumpet's quick’ning breath,
" Let each warrior spurn at death.
“ Lo! the sacred banner flies,
“ Beacon bright of Paradise !
“ Give our Prophet for the word,
“ To edge anew the OTHMAN sword:
“ To pity's spell each heart to steel,
“ That none the ties of nature feel;
• Should manhood shun the vengeance blade,
" Or beauty's form the point invade:
“ Or infancy, with potent eye,
“ Or reverend age, for mercy cry:
“ So may I, holy OMAR! want thy grace,
“If one escape of Ali's hateful race ?"
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
In wrath ful mood,
The Sultan stood;
Smiles on the field,
Which nought could yield,
But anguish to the good!
Hark! what notes distil from far,
Discordant to the din of war?
Now, through the sad and transient calm,
Pouring Music's healing balm.
Those notes pervade the royal ear-
Musician sweet! what fruitless zeal
Wakes thy lyre, for Persia's weal?
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 tide, And shook the apathy of lawless power: His hand he rais'd, the dulcet sounds to still, But doubt his purpose crost—now first irresolute in ill!
Rous'd by the sight, the Bard invokes his art,
Its smiles, its terrors to impart :
To glory's goal he animates the brave,
Who nobly pant, to triumph, yet to save !
Or, taught by virtue to forbear,
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!
Stung with the likeness which he knew,
His sabre AMURATH half-drew,
And, like a statue stood, expos'd to public view!
The Bard, who saw the moment near,
When truth might pierce the royal ear;
With solemn movements courts the strings,
And Bagdad's wayward fortune sings.
“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 ? “ Whence trac'd the Muse her ' nightly tales;' “Whence spread thro' earth thy grandeur wide, “ 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 be, lab'ring, fell,
And sighs and groans his mental conflict tell !
“ By the wreaths in battle won,
By the beams of Mercy's sun,
“Which gild the hero's days;
By all the joys which empire gives,
By pity, which each joy outlives,
“And yields unsully'd praise:
By the Prophet's gracious sign,
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, “ While persecution leaves one life to spare."
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
Stamps thy talent divine,
See the conquest achiev'd by thy spirit !
Crowds snatch'd from the tomb,
Spite of AMURATH's doom,
Shall, to ages, emblazon thy merit!
Dear Music! charm of every woe!
Pulse of Love! and Friendship’s flow!
See, thy divinity extend
Where all the finer feelings end.