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But soon, too soon, the lover turns his eyes;
See, wild as the winds o'er the desert he flies;
Ah see, he dies!
Yet ev'n in death Eurydice he sung,
Eurydice the floods,
Eurydice the rocks and hollow mountains rung.
Music the fiercest grief can charm,
And Fate's severest rage disarm :
This the divine Cecilia found,
Forsake not thou the vocal choir,
Their breasts revisit with thy genial fire.
THOU child of Nature, Genius strong,
The sweetly warbling Shakspeare bore;
Whose silver streams flow musical along,
Else vain the studied sounds of mimic art,
No longer now thy altars blaze, No poet offers up his lays; Inspir'd with energy divine, To worship at thy sacred shrine, Since Taste* with absolute domain, Extending wide her leaden reign, Kills with her melancholy shade The blooming scions of fair Fancy's tree; Which erst full wantonly have stray'd In many a wreath of richest poesy. For when the oak denies her stay, The creeping ivy winds her humble way; No more she twists her branches round, But drags her feeble stem along the barren ground.
Where then shall exil'd Genius go?
Who prey on words, and all their flowerets cull, Coldly correct, and regularly dull.
* By taste, is here meant the modern affectation of it.
Why sleep the sons of Genius now?
Great Pindar's delegated wreath is hung,
TO MEMORY, 1748.
O MEMORY! celestial maid!
Who glean'st the flowerets cropp'd by Time, And, suffering not a leaf to fade,
Preserv'st the blossoms of our prime; Bring, bring those moments to my mind When life was new and Lesbia kind.
And bring that garland to my sight
With which my favour'd crook she bound;
Which then my festive temples crown'd;
And sketch with care the Muses' bower,
Nor yet omit one reed or flower
That shines on Cherwell's verdant side, If so thou may'st those hours prolong, When polish'd Lycon join'd my song.
The song it 'vails not to recite
But, sure, to soothe our youthful dreams, Those banks and streams appear'd more bright Than other banks, than other streains; Or, by thy softening pencil shown, Assume they beauties not their own?
And paint that sweetly-vacant scene
When, all beneath the poplar bough, My spirits light, my soul serene,
I breath'd in verse one cordial vow, That nothing should my soul inspire But friendship warm and love entire.
Dull to the sense of new delight,
On thee the drooping Muse attends, As some fond lover, robb'd of sight,
On thy expressive power depends, Nor would exchange thy glowing lines To live the lord of all that shines.
But let me chase those vows away
Which at Ambition's shrine I made; Nor ever let thy skill display
Those anxious moments, ill repaid : Oh! from my breast that season rase, And bring my childhood in its place.
Bring me the bells, the rattle bring,
And bring the hobby I bestrode,