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Yet he, the Bard 1 who first invoked thy name,
Disdain'd in Marathon its power to feel : For not alone he nursed the poet's flame,
But reach'd from Virtue's hand the patriot's steel.
But who is he, whom later garlands grace,
Who left a while o'er Hybla's dews to rove, With trembling eyes thy dreary steps to trace,
Where thou and furies shared the baleful grove ?
Wrapt in thy cloudy veil, th' incestuous queen
Sigh’d the sad call her son and husband heard, When once alone it broke the silent scene,
And he the wretch of Thebes no more appear'd.
O Fear! I know thee by my throbbing heart;
Thy withering power inspired each mournful line ; Though gentle Pity claim her mingled part,
Yet all the thunders of the scene are thine!
Thou who such weary lengths hast past, Where wilt thou rest, mad Nymph, at last ? Say, wilt thou shroud in haunted cell, Where gloomy Rape and Murder dwell ? Or in some hollow'd seat, 'Gainst which the big waves beat, Hear drowning seamen's cries in tempests brought ? Dark power, with shuddering meek submitted thought, Be mine, to read the visions old, Which thy awakening bards have told : And, lest thou meet my blasted view, Hold each strange tale devoutly true;
1. Bard:' Æschylus. . ? “Who is he,' &c. : Sophocles. — 3 Incestuous Queen :' Jocasta.
Ne'er be I found, by thee o'erawed,
O thou whose spirit most possest
wreath my meed decree,
ODE TO SIMPLICITY.
O THOU by Nature taught,
To breathe her genuine thought,
Who first on mountains wild,
In Fancy, loveliest child,
Thou, who with hermit heart
Disdain'st the wealth of art,
But comest a decent maid,
In Attic robe array'd,
By all the honey'd store
On Hybla's thymy shore ; By all her blooms, and mingled murmurs dear;
By herl whose love-lorn woe,
In evening musings slow,
By old Cephisus deep,
Who spread his wavy sweep In warbled wanderings round thy green retreat ;
On whose enameli'd side,
When holy Freedom died,
O sister meek of Truth,
To my admiring youth,
The flowers that sweetest breathe,
Though beauty cull’d the wreath, Still ask thy hand to range their order'd hues.
While Rome could none esteem,
But virtue's patriot theme, You loved her hills, and led her laureate band :
But stay'd to sing alone
To one distinguish'd throne And turn'd thy face, and fled her alter'd land.
No more, in hall or bower,
The Passions own thy power,
1. Her :' the nightingale.--2 · Sad Electra's Poet : ' borrowed from Milton's Eighth Sonnet.
For thou hast left her shrine ;
Nor olive more, nor vine,
Though taste, though genius bless
To some divine excess, Faint 's the cold work till thou inspire the whole ;
What each, what all supply,
May court, may charm our eye;
Of these let others ask,
To aid some mighty task,
Where oft my reed might sound
To maids and shepherds round,
ODE ON THE POETICAL CHARACTER.
As once, if not with light regard,
1 Unrivall’d fair :' Florimel. See Spenser, Leg. 4th.
Some chaste and angel friend to virgin fame,
With whisper'd spell had burst the starting band, It left unblest her loathed dishonour'd side ;
Happier hopeless fair, if never
Her baffled hand with vain endeavour
To whom, prepared and batbed in heaven,
To gird their bless'd prophetic loins,