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And Truth, in sunny vest array'd,
By whose the tarsel's1 eyes were made ;
All the shadowy tribes of mind,
In braided dance their murmurs join'd,
And all the bright uncounted powers,
Who feed on heaven's ambrosial flowers.
Where is the bard, whose soul can now
Its high presuming hopes avow?
Where he who thinks, with rapture blind,
This hallow'd work for him design'd?
High on some cliff, to heaven up-piled,
Of rude access, of prospect wild,
Where, tangled round the jealous steep,
Strange shades o'erbrow the valleys deep,
And holy genii guard the rock,
Its glooms embrown, its springs unlock;
While on its rich ambitious head,
An Eden, like his own, lies spread :
I view that oak, the fancied glades among,
By which, as Milton lay, bis evening ear,
From many a cloud that dropp'd ethereal dew,
Nigh sphered in heaven its native strains could hear;
On which that ancient trump he reach'd was hung;
Thither oft his glory greeting,
From Waller's myrtle shades retreating,
With many a vow from Hope's aspiring tongue,
My trembling feet his guiding steps pursue ;
In vain—such bliss to one alone,
Of all the sons of soul was known;
And Heaven, and Fancy, kindred powers,
Have now o'erturn'd th' inspiring bowers;
Or curtain'd close such scene from every future view.
Written in the Year 1746.
1 How sleep the brave, who sink to rest,
By all their country's wishes blest !
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.
2 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!
O THOU, who sitt'st a smiling bride
By Valour's arm’d and awful side,
Gentlest of sky-born forms, and best adored :
Who oft with songs, divine to hear,
Winn'st from his fatal
spear, And hidest in wreaths of flowers his bloodless sword !
Thou who, amidst the deathful field,
By godlike chiefs alone beheld,
Oft with thy bosom bare art found,
Pleading for him the youth who sinks to ground:
See, Mercy, see, with pure and loaded hands,
Before thy shrine my country's genius stands, And decks thy altar still, though pierced with many a
When he whom even our joys provoke,
The Fiend of Nature join'd his yoke,
And rush'd in wrath to make our isle his prey;
Thy form, from out thy sweet abode,
O'ertook him on his blasted road,
And stopp'd his wheels, and look'd his rage away.
I see recoil his sable steeds,
That bore him swift to savage deeds ;
Thy tender melting eyes they own;
O maid, for all thy love to Britain shown,
Where Justice bars her iron tower,
To thee we build a roseate bower, Thou, thou shalt rule our queen, and share our monarch's
Who shall awake the Spartan fife,
And call in solemn sounds to life,
The youths, whose locks divinely spreading,
Like vernal hyacinths in sullen hue,
At once the breath of fear and virtue shedding,
Applauding Freedom loved of old to view ?
What new Alcæus, 1 fancy-blest,
Shall sing the sword, in myrtles drest,
At Wisdom's shrine a while its flame concealing, (What place so fit to seal a deed renown'd ?)
Till she her brightest lightnings round revealing,
It leap'd in glory forth, and dealt her prompted wound !
O goddess, in that feeling hour,
When most its sounds would court thy ears,
Let not my shell's misguided power
E'er draw thy sad, thy mindful tears.
No, Freedom, no, I will not tell,
How Rome, before thy weeping face,
With heaviest sound, a giant statue, fell,
Push'd by a wild and artless race,
From off its wide ambitious base,
When Time his northern sons of spoil awoke,
And all the blended work of strength and grace,
With many a rude repeated stroke, And many a barbarous yell, to thousand fragments broke.
Yet, even where'er the least appear'd,
Th' admiring world thy hand revered ;
Still, 'midst the scatter'd states around,
Some remnants of her strength were found ;
They saw, by what escaped the storm,
How wondrous rose her perfect form ;
How in the great, the labour'd whole,
Each mighty master pour'd his soul !
For sunny Florence, seat of art,
Beneath her vines preserved a part,
Till they, 1 whom Science loved to name,
(0 who could fear it ?) quench'd her flame.
And, lo, an humbler relic laid
In jealous Pisa's olive shade!
See small Marino 2 joins the theme,
Though least, not last in thy esteem :
Strike, louder strike, th' ennobling strings,
To those, 3 whose merchant sons were kings ;
To him 4 who, deck'd with pearly pride,
In Adria weds his green-hair'd bride :
Hail port of glory, wealth, and pleasure !
Ne'er let me change this Lydian measure :
Nor e'er her former pride relate,
To sad Liguria’s5 bleeding state.
Ah no! more pleased thy haunts I seek,
On wild Helvetia's mountains bleak ;
(Where, when the favour'd of thy choice,
The daring archer, 7 heard thy voice;
Forth from his eyrie roused in dread,
The ravening eagle northward fled ;)
Or dwell in willow'd meads more near,
With those 8 to whom thy stork is dear :
Those whom the rod of Alva bruised,
Whose crown a British queeno refused !
The magic works, thou feel’st the strains,
One holier name alone remains ;
The perfect spell shall then avail,
Hail Nymph, adored by Britain, hail !
1.They :' the Medici._2 Marino :' the little republic thereof. See Addison's Travels. — 36 Those :' the Venetians. 4. Him:' Doge of Venice.5. Liguria :'Genoa._Helvetia :'Switzerland.—7. Archer: 'Tell.–8. Those :' the Dutch, amongst whom there are very severe penalties for those who are convicted of ling this bird. The common people of Holland are said to entertain a superstitious sentiment, that if the whole species of them should become extinct, they should lose their liberties. British queen :' Elizabeth.