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While Rome could none esteem
But virtue's patriot theme, You loved her hills, and led her laureate band;
But staid to sing alone
To one distinguished throne, And turn'd thy face, and fled her alter'd land.
No more, in hall or bower,
The passions own thy power. Love, only Love, her forceless numbers mean J
For thou hast left her shrine,
Nor olive more, nor vine,
Though taste, though genius, bless
To some divine excess, Faint's the cold work till thou inspire the whole:
What each, what all supply,
May court, may charm our eye, Thou! only thou canst raise the meeting soul I
Of these let others ask,
To aid some mighty task,
Where oft my reed might sound
To maids and shepherds round,
ON THE POETICAL CHARACTER.
As once, if not with light regard,
At solemn turney hung on high,
Lo! to each other nymph in turn applied,
As if, in air unseen, some hovering hand, Some chaste and angel-friend to virgin-fame,
With whisper'd spell had burst the starting band, It left unblest her loathed dishonour'd side j Happier, hopeless fair, if never Her baffled hand with vain endeavour Had touch'd that fatal zone to her denied!
Young Fancy thus, to me divinest name,
To whom, prepared and bathed in heaven,
The cest of amplest power is given,
To few the god-like gift assigns,
To gird their blest prophetic loins, Aad gaze her visions wild, and feel unmixM her flame,
The band, as fairy legends say,
Was wove on that creating day,
The dangerous passions kept aloof,
While on its rich ambitious head
An Eden, like his own, lies spread, I view that oak, the fancied glades among, By which, as Milton lay, his evening ear, From many a cloud that dropp'd etbereal dew, Night sphered in heaven its native strains could hear) On which that ancient trump he reacb/d was hung:
Thither oft his glory greeting,
From Waller's myrtle shades retreating,
In vain—Such bliss to one alone,
Of all the sons of soul, was known, And Heaven, and Fancy, kindred powers, Have now o'erturn'd th* inspiring bowers, Or curtain'd close such scenes from every future view.
How sleep the brave, who sink to rest,
By fairy hands their knell is rung,
By Valour's arm'd and awful side,
Who oft, with songs, divine to hear,
Winn'st from his fatal grasp the spear, And hideet in wreaths of flowers his bloodless sword!
Thou who, amidst the deathful field,
By godlike chiefs alone beheld,
See, Mercy, see! with pure and loaded hands,
Before thy shrine my country's Genius stands, Aud decks thy altar still, (hough pierced with many a wound!
When he whom even our joys provoke;
The fiend of Nature, join'd his yoke,
Thy form, from out thy sweet abode,
Overtook him on his blasted road,
I see recoil his sable steeds,
That bore him swift to savage deeds,
Where Justice bars her iron tower,
To thee we build a roseate bower, Thou, thou shalt rule our queen, and share our monarch's throne!
Who shaJl awake the Spartan fife,
And call in solemn sounds to life
Like vernal hyacinths in sullen hue,
Applauding Freedom loved of old to view?
At Wisdom's shrine awhile its flame concealing, (What place so fit to seal a deed renown'd ?)
Till she her brightest lightnings round revealing, Itleap'd in glory forth, and dealt her prompted wound?
O Goddess! in that feeling hour,
Let not my shell's misguided power