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The oracles are dumb;
No voice or hideous hum
Runs through the archéd roof in words deceiving:
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
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,
Within his sacred chest ;
Nought but profoundest hell can be his shroud;
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.
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,
Then cold, and hot, and moist, and dry
And music's power obey.
From harmony, from heavenly harmony
Through all the compass of the notes it ran,
What passion cannot Music raise and quell ?
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
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,
Depth of pains, and height of passion
But oh! what art can teach,
The sacred organ's praise?
Orpheus could lead the savage race,
But bright Cecilia raised the wonder higher :
As from the power of sacred lays
So when the last and dreadful hour
ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIEMONT
AVENGE, O Lord! thy slaughter'd Saints, whose
Lie scatter'd on the Alpine mountains cold;
Forget not: In thy book record their groans
The vales redoubled to the hills, and they