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How do your tuneful echoes languish,
Left their Parnassus for the Latian plains.
And coward Vice, that revels in her chains.
When Latium had her lofty spirit lost,
They sought, oh Albion! next, thy sea-encircled coast.
Far from the sun and summer-gale
In thy green lap was Nature's Darling laid,
To him the mighty Mother did unveil
Her awful face: the dauntless child
'This pencil take' (she said), 'whose colours clear
Thine, too, these golden keys, immortal Boy!
Of horror that, and thrilling fears,
Or ope the sacred source of sympathetic tears.'
Nor second He, that rode sublime
Upon the seraph-wings of Extasy
The secrets of the 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 bear
Two coursers of ethereal race,
With necks in thunder clothed, and long-resounding pace.
Bright-eyed Fancy, hovering o'er,
Hark, his hands the lyre explore!
Scatters from her pictured urn
Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.
Oh! lyre divine, what daring spirit
Yet oft before his infant eyes would run
Yet shall he mount, and keep his distant way
Beneath the Good how far-but far above the Great.
An Ode for Music
When Music, heavenly maid, was young,
First Fear his hand, its skill to try,
E'en at the sound himself had made.
In lightnings, own'd his secret stings;
And swept with hurried hand the strings.
With woeful measures wan Despair,
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
Were ne'er prophetic sounds so full of woe!
And blew a blast so loud and dread,
And ever and anon he beat
The doubling drum with furious heat ;
And, though sometimes, each dreary pause between,
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
Thy numbers, Jealousy, to nought were fix'd :
Sad proof of thy distressful state!
And now it courted Love, now raving call'd on Hate.
Of differing themes the veering song was mix'd;
With eyes up-raised, 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:
Bubbling runnels join'd the sound;
Through glades and glooms the mingled measure stole,
Or, o'er some haunted stream, with fond delay,
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,
Blew an inspiring air, that dale and thicket rung,
The oak-crown'd Sisters and their chaste-eyed Queen,
Peeping from forth their alleys green:
Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear;
And Sport leapt up, and seized his beechen spear.
They would have thought who heard the strain
To some unwearied minstrel dancing;
Love framed with Mirth a gay fantastic round:
As if he would the charming air repay,
Shook thousand odours from his dewy wings.
O Music! sphere-descended maid,
You learn'd an all-commanding power,
Thy wonders, in that god-like age,
THE SONG OF DAVID
He sang of God, the mighty source
Of all things, the stupendous force
From Whose right arm, beneath Whose eyes,
The world, the clustering spheres He made,
The glorious light, the soothing shade,
The multitudinous abyss,
Where secrecy remains in bliss,
And wisdom hides her skill.
Tell them, I AM, Jehovah said
To Moses while Earth heard in dread,
At once, above, beneath, around,
'I have no name;
I am but two days old.'
'I happy am;
Joy is my name.'
-Sweet joy befall thee!