Слике страница

How do your tuneful echoes languish,
Mute, but to the voice of anguish !
Where each old poetic mountain
Inspiration breathed around;
Every shade and hallow'd fountain
Murmur'd deep a solemn sound :
Till the sad Nine, in Greece's evil hour

Left their Parnassus for the Latian plains.
Alike they scorn the pomp of tyrant Power,

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,
What time, where lucid Avon stray'd,

To him the mighty Mother did unveil

Her awful face: the dauntless child
Stretch'd forth his little arms, and smiled.

'This pencil take' (she said), 'whose colours clear
Richly paint the vernal year:

Thine, too, these golden keys, immortal Boy!
This can unlock the gates of joy;

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:

[blocks in formation]

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.
But ah! 'tis heard no more-


Oh! lyre divine, what daring spirit
Wakes thee now? Tho' he inherit
Nor the pride, nor ample pinion,
That the Theban eagle bear,
Sailing with supreme dominion
Thro' the azure deep of air:

Yet oft before his infant eyes would run
Such forms as glitter in the Muse's ray
With orient hues, unborrow'd of the sun :

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.




T. Gray



An Ode for Music

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,
Fill'd 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,

E'en 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.

[blocks in formation]

With woeful 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,
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 ;

[blocks in formation]

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,
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


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:
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 an 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 spear.

[merged small][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]


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 endear'd,
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 god-like 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:
E'en 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!


He sang of God, the mighty source



W. Collins



Of all things, the stupendous force
On which all strength depends:

From Whose right arm, beneath Whose eyes,
All period, power, and enterprise
Commences, reigns, and ends.


The world, the clustering spheres He made,

The glorious light, the soothing shade,
Dale, champaign, grove and hill :

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,
And, smitten to the heart,

At once, above, beneath, around,
All Nature, without voice or sound,
Replied, 'O Lord, THOU ART.'


'I have no name;

I am but two days old.'
-What shall I call thee?

'I happy am;

Joy is my name.'

-Sweet joy befall thee!

C. Smart





« ПретходнаНастави »