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THE PROGRESS OF POESY.
AWAKE, Æolian lyre, awake,
A thousand rills their mazy progress take:
Oh! sovereign of the willing soul!
And frantic passions hear thy soft control :
Thee the voice, the dance, obey,
On Cytherea's day,
Now in circling troops they meet :
Glance their many-twinkling feet.
Slow melting strains their queen's approach declare:
Where'er she turns, the Graces homage pay. With arms sublime, that float upon the air,
In gliding state she wins her easy way: O’er her warm cheek and rising bosom move The bloom of young Desire and purple light of Love.
Man's feeble race what ills await, Labour, and Penury, the racks of Pain, Disease, and Sorrow's weeping train,
And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate! The fond complaint, my song, disprove, And justify the laws of Jove. Say, has he given in vain the heavenly Muse? Night, and all her sickly dews, Her spectres wan, her birds of boding cry, He gives to range the dreary sky; Till down the eastern cliffs afar Hyperion's march they spy, and glittering shafts of
In climes beyond the solar road, Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam, The Muse has broke the twilight gloom,
To cheer the shivering native's dull abode. And oft, beneath the odorous shade Of Chili's boundless forests laid, She deigns to hear the savage youth repeat, In loose numbers wildly sweet, Their feather-cinctured chiefs and dusky loves. Her track, where'er the goddess roves, Glory pursue, and generous Shame, Th’ unconquerable mind, and Freedom's holy flame.
Woods that wave o'er Delphi's steep,
Isles that crown the Ægean deep,
In lingering labyrinths creep,
How do your tuneful echoes languish,
Inspiration breathed around :
Murmur'd deep a solemn sound :
Left their 'Parnassus for the Latian plains.
And coward Vice that revels in her chains.
Far from the sun and summer-gale,
To him the mighty mother did unveil
ope the sacred source of sympathetic tears."
Nor second he, that rode sublime Upon the seraph-wings of Ecstasy, The secrets of th' abyss to spy.
He pass'd the flaming bounds of place and time : The living throne, the sapphire-blaze, Where angels tremble while they gaze, He saw: but, blasted with excess of light, Closed his eyes in endless night. Behold, where Dryden's less presumptuous car Wide o'er the fields of glory bare Two coursers of ethereal race, With necks in thunder clothed, and long-resounding pace.
Hark, his hands the lyre explore!
Bright-eyed Fancy hovering o'er,
But ah! 'tis heard no more.
That the Theban eagle bear,
Through the azure deep of air:
Such forms as glitter in the Muse's ray
Yet shall he mount, and keep his distant way Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate, Beneath the good how far, but far above the great.
HYMN TO ADVERSITY.
DAUGHTER of Jove, relentless power,
Thou tamer of the human breast,
The bad affright, afflict the best !
When first thy sire to send on earth
Virtue, his darling child, design'd, To thee he gave the heavenly birth,
And bade to form her infant mind. Stern, rugged nurse; thy rigid lore With patience many a year she bore: What sorrow was thou bad'st her know, And from her own she learn'd to melt at others' wo.
Seared at thy frown terrific, fly
Self-pleasing Folly's idle brood,
And leave us leisure to be good.
Wisdom, in sable garb array'd,
Immersed in rapturous thought profound,
With leaden eye that loves the ground,
Dread goddess, lay thy chastening hand !
Nor circled with the vengeful band
Thy milder influence impart,
To soften, not to wound my heart. The generous spark extinct revive, Teach me to love and to forgive, Exact my own defects to scan, What others are, to feel, and know myself a man.