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(Whose jewels in his crisped hair
Are placed each other's beams to share ;
Whom no delights from thee divide)
In laughter loosed attends thy side !
By old Miletus, 1 who so long
Has ceased his love-inwoven song;
By all you taught the Tuscan maids,
In changed Italia's modern shades;
By him,? whose knight's distinguish'd name
Refined a nation's lust of fame;
Whose tales even now, with echoes sweet,
Castilia's Moorish hills repeat;
Or him, 3 whom Seine’s blue nymphs deplore,
In watchet weeds on Gallia's shore,
Who drew the sad Sicilian maid,
By virtues in her sire betray'd.
O Nature boon, from whom proceed
Each forceful thought, each prompted deed ;
If but from thee I hope to feel,
On all my heart imprint thy seal !
Let some retreating Cynic find
Those oft-turn'd scrolls I leave behind ;
The Sports and I this hour agree
To rove thy scene-full world with thee !
WHEN Music, heavenly 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,
Possest beyond the Muse's painting ;
By turns they felt the glowing mind
Disturb’d, delighted, raised, refined.
Till once, 'tis said, when all were fired,
Filld 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,
1 The Passions :' suggested by a MS. Essay by Joseph Warton.
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 call'd 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 his head.
Thy numbers, Jealousy, to nought were fix'd;
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 upraised, 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 measure stole,
Or o'er some haunted stream, with fond delay,
Round a holy calm diffusing,
Love of peace, and lonely musing,
In hollow murmurs died away.
But O 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 leapt up and seized his beechen
Last came Joy's ecstatic trial :
He, with viny crown advancing,
First to the lively pipe his hand addrest ;
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,
As if he would the charming air repay,
Shook 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 endeard !
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!
ODE ON THE DEATH OF MR THOMSON.
The Scene of the following Stanzas is supposed to lie on the Thames, near
Richmond. It is said to have been composed by Collins while sailing past Richmond.
1 In yonder grave a Druid lies,
Where slowly winds the stealing wave :
The year's best sweets shall duteous rise,
To deck its Poet's sylvan grave.