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Ode written in the beginning of the year 1746. How sleep the brave who sink to rest, By all their country's wishes bless’d! When Spring, with dewy fingers cold, Returns to deck their hallow'd mould, She there shall dress a sweeter sod Than Fancy's feet have ever trod,
By fairy hands their knell is rung;
By forms unseen their dirge is sung;
There Honour comes, a pilgrim gray,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay ;
And Freedom shall a while repair,
To dwell a weeping hermit there !
WHEN Music, beavenly maid, was young,
While yet in early Greece she sung,
The passions oft to hear her shell
Throng'd around her magic cell,
Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting,
Possess'd beyond the Muses' painting;
By turns they felt the glowing mind
Disturb’d, delighted, raised, refined :
Till once, 'tis said, when all were fired,
Fill'd with fury, rapt, inspired,
From the supporting myrtles round
They snatch'd her instruments of sound;
And, as they oft had heard apart
Sweet lessons of her forceful art,
Each (for madness ruled the hour)
Would prove his own expressive power.
First Fear his hand, its skill to try,
Amid the chords bewilder'd laid,
And back recoil'd, he knew not why,
Even at the sound himself had made.
Next Anger rush’d, his eyes on fire,
In lightnings own'd his secret stings : In one rude clash he struck the lyre,
And swept with hurried hand the strings. With woful measures wan Despair
Low sullen sounds his grief beguiled ; A solemn, strange, and mingled air:
'Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild. But thou, O Hope, with eyes so fair,
What was thy delighted measure ? Still it whisper'd promised pleasure,
And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail !
Still would her touch the strain prolong,
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale,
She called on Echo still, through all the song ;
And, where her sweetest theme she chose,
A soft responsive voice was heard at every close ; And Hope enchanted smiled, and waved her golden hair. And longer had she sung ;—but, with a frown,
Revenge impatient rose :
He threw his blood-stain’d sword, in thunder, down,
And, with a withering look,
The war-denouncing trumpet took,
And blew a blast so loud and dread,
Were ne'er prophetic sounds so full of woe !
And ever and anon he beat
The doubling drum with furious heat;
And though sometimes, each dreary pause between,
Dejected Pity, at his side,
Her soul-subduing voice applied, Yet still he kept his wild, unalter'd mien, While each strain'd ball of sight seem'd bursting from
Thy numbers, Jealousy, to nought were fixed ;
Sad proof of thy distressful state !
Of differing themes the veering song was mix'd ;
And now it courted Love, now raving call’d on Hate.
With eyes uprais'd, as one inspired,
Pale Melancholy sat retired ;
And from her wild, sequester'd seat,
In notes by distance made more sweet,
Pour'd through the mellow horn her pensive soul ;
And dashing soft from rocks around,
Bubbling runnels join'd the sound; Through glades and glooms the mingled measures stole, Or, o'er some haunted stream, with fond delay,
Round an holy calm diffusing,
Love of peace, and lonely musing,
In hollow murmurs died away.
But oh, how alter'd was its sprightlier tone,
When Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthiest hue,
Her bow across her shoulder flung,
Her buskins gemm’d with morning dew,
Blew an inspiring air, that dale and thicket rung, The hunter's call, to Faun and Dryad known ! The oak-crown’d sisters, and their chaste-eyed queen,
Satyrs and sylvan boys, were seen
Peeping from forth their alleys green:
Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear ;
And Sport leap'd up, and seized his beechen spear.
Last came Joy's ecstatic trial :
He, with viny crown advancing,
First to the lively pipe his hand address'd;
But soon he saw the brisk awakening viol,
Whose sweet entrancing voice he loved the best : They would have thought who heard the strain,
They saw, in Tempe's vale, her native maids,
Amidst the festal sounding shades,
To some unwearied minstrel dancing ;
While, as his flying fingers kiss'd the strings,
Love framed with Mirth a gay fantastic round ;
Loose were her tresses seen, her zone unbound,
And he, amidst his frolic play,
- if he would the charming air repay,
thousand odours from his dewy wings.
O Music, sphere-descended maid,
Friend of Pleasure, Wisdom's aid !
Why, goddess—why, to us denied,
Lay'st thou thy ancient lyre aside ?
As, in that loved Athenian bower,
You learn’d an all-commanding power,
Thy mimic soul, O nymph endear'd,
Can well recall what then it heard :
Where is thy native simple heart,
Devote to Virtue, Fancy, Art ?
Arise, as in that elder time,
Warm, energic, chaste, sublime !
Thy wonders in that godlike age
Fill thy recording sister's page:
'Tis said, and I believe the tale,
Thy humblest reed could more prevail,
Had more of strength, diviner rage,
Than all which charms this laggard age ;
Even all at once together found,
Cecilia's mingled world of sound.
O bid our vain endeavours cease ;
Revive the just designs of Greece :
Return in all thy simple state ;
Confirm the tales her sons relate.
Born A.D. 1731, died A.D. 1774.
Far to the right, where Apennine ascends,
Bright as the summer, Italy extends,
Its uplands sloping deck the mountain's side,
Woods over woods in gay theatric pride ;
While oft some temple's mould'ring tops between
With venerable grandeur mark the scene.
Could Nature's bounty satisfy the breast,
The sons of Italy were surely bless’d:
Whatever fruits in different climes are found,
That proudly rise, or humbly court the ground;
Whatever blooms in torrid tracts appear,
Whose bright succession decks the varied
Whatever sweets salute the northern sky
With vernal lives, that blossom but to die :
These here disporting own the kindred soil,
Nor ask luxuriance from the planter's toil ;
While sea-born gales their gelid wings expand,
To winnow fragrance round the smiling land.
But small the bliss that sense alone bestows;
And sensual bliss is all the nation knows.
In florid beauty groves
Man seems the only growth that dwindles here.
Contrasted faults through all his manners reign;
Though poor, luxurious; though submissive, vain;
Though grave, yet trifling ; zealous, yet untrue;
And even in penance planning sins anew.
All evils here contaminate the mind
That opulence departed leaves behind :
For wealth was theirs ; not far removed the date
When Commerce proudly flourish'd through the state;
At her command the palace learn’d to rise ;
Again the long-fallen column sought the skies ;
The canvass glow'd, beyond e'en nature warm ;
The pregnant quarry teem’d with human form:
Till more unsteady than the southern gale,
Commerce on other shores display'd her sail ;
While nought remain’d of all that riches gave,
But towns unmann'd, and lords without a slave ;
And late the nation found, with fruitless skill,
Its former strength was but plethoric ill.
Yet, still the loss of wealth is here supplied
By arts, the splendid wrecks of former pride;
From these the feeble heart and long-fallen mind
An easy compensation seem to find.
Here may be seen, in bloodless pomp array'd,
The pasteboard triumph and the cavalcade :