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The oracles are dumb;

No voice or hideous hum

Runs through the archéd roof in words deceiving:
Apollo from his shrine

Can no more divine,

With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving:

No nightly trance or breathéd spell

Inspires the pale-eyed priest from the prophetic cell.

The lonely mountains o'er

And the resounding shore

A voice of weeping heard, and loud lament;

From haunted spring and dale

Edged with poplar pale

The parting Genius is with sighing sent;

With flower-inwoven tresses torn

The nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets mourn.

In consecrated earth

And on the holy hearth

The Lars and Lemures moan with midnight plaint; In urns, and altars round

A drear and dying sound

Affrights the Flamens at their service quaint;

And the chill marble seems to sweat,

While each peculiar Power foregoes his wonted seat.

Peor and Baalim

Forsake their temples dim,

With that twice-batter'd god of Palestine ;

And moonéd Ashtaroth

Heaven's queen and mother both,

Now sits not girt with tapers' holy shine;

The Lybic Hammon shrinks his horn,

In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Thammuz

mourn.

And sullen Moloch, fled,

Hath left in shadows dread

His burning idol all of blackest hue;

In vain with cymbals' ring

They call the grisly king,

In dismal dance about the furnace blue;

The brutish gods of Nile as fast,

Isis, and Orus, and the dog Anubis, haste.

Nor is Osiris seen

In Memphian grove, or green,
Trampling the unshower'd grass with lowings loud :
Nor can he be at rest

Within his sacred chest ;

Nought but profoundest hell can be his shroud;
In vain with timbrell'd anthems dark

The sable stoléd sorcerers bear his worshipt ark. ·

He feels from Juda's land

The dreaded infant's hand;

The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn;

Nor all the gods beside

Longer dare abide,

Nor Typhon huge ending in snaky twine:

Our Babe, to show his Godhead true,

Çan in his swaddling bands control the damned crew.

So, when the sun in bed

Curtain'd with cloudy red

Pillows his chin upon an orient wave,

The flocking shadows pale

Troop to the infernal jail,

Each fetter'd ghost slips to his several grave;

And the yellow-skirted fays

Fly after the night-steeds, leaving their moon-loved maze.

But see, the Virgin blest

Hath laid her Babe to rest;

Time is, our tedious song should here have ending : Heaven's youngest-teemed star

Hath fixed her polish'd car,

Her sleeping Lord with hand-maid lamp attending : And all about the courtly stable

Bright-harness'd angels sit in order serviceable.

LXIII

J. Milton

SONG FOR SAINT CECILIA'S DAY, 1687

ROM Harmony, from heavenly Harmony

FThis universal frame began:

When Nature underneath a heap

Of jarring atoms lay

And could not heave her head,

The tuneful voice was heard from high,
Arise, ye more than dead!

Then cold, and hot, and moist, and dry
In order to their stations leap,

And music's power obey.

From harmony, from heavenly harmony
This universal frame began:
From harmony to harmony

Through all the compass of the notes it ran,
The diapason closing full in Man.

What passion cannot Music raise and quell ?
When Jubal struck chorded shell
His listening brethren stood around,
And, wondering, on their faces fell
To worship that celestial sound.

Less than a God they thought there could not dwell Within the hollow of that shell

That spoke so sweetly and so well. What passion cannot Music raise and quell?

The trumpet's loud clangor

Excites us to arms,

With shrill notes of anger

And mortal alarms.

The double double double beat
Of the thundering drum

"

Cries, Hark! the foes come;

Charge, charge, 't is too late to retreat !’

The soft complaining flute

In dying notes discovers

The woes of hopeless lovers,

Whose dirge is whisper'd by the warbling lute.

Sharp violins proclaim

Their jealous pangs and desperation,
Fury, frantic indignation,

Depth of pains, and height of passion
For the fair disdainful dame.

But oh! what art can teach,
What human voice can reach

The sacred organ's praise?
Notes inspiring holy love,
Notes that wing their heavenly ways
To mend the choirs above.

Orpheus could lead the savage race,
And trees uprooted left their place
Sequacious of the lyre :

But bright Cecilia raised the wonder higher :
When to her Organ vocal breath was given
An Angel heard, and straight appear'd —
Mistaking Earth for Heaven!

Grand Chorus

As from the power of sacred lays
The spheres began to move,
And sung the great Creator's praise
To all the blest above;

So when the last and dreadful hour
This crumbling pageant shall devour,
The trumpet shall be heard on high,
The dead shall live, the living die,
And Music shall untune the sky.
J. Dryden

LXIV

ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIEMONT

AVENGE, O Lord! thy slaughter'd Saints, whose

bones

Lie scatter'd on the Alpine mountains cold;
Even them who kept thy truth so pure of old
When all our fathers worshipt stocks and stones

Forget not: In thy book record their groans
Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold
Slain by the bloody Piemontese, that roll'd
Mother with infant down the rocks.

Their moans

The vales redoubled to the hills, and they
To Heaven. Their martyr'd blood and ashes sow
O'er all the Italian fields, where still doth sway

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