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While, ever varying as they pass,
To some Contempt applies her glass:
With these the white-rob'd maids combine,
And those the laughing Satyrs join!
But who is he whom now she views,
In robe of wild contending hues?
Thou by the Passions nursed; I greet
The comic sock that binds thy feet!
O Humour, thou whose name is known
To Britain's favour'd isle alone:
Me too amidst thy band admit;
There where the young eyed healthful Wit
(Whose jewels in his crisped hair
Are placed each other's beams to share),
Whom no delights from thee divide
In laughter loosed, attends thy side!
By old Miletus,* who so long Has ceased his love-inwoven song; By all you taught the Tuscan maids. In changed Italia's modern shades; By him,f whose knight's distinguish'd name, Refin'd a nation's lust of fame; Whose tales e'en now, with echoes sweet, Castilia's Moorish hills repeat: Or him4 whom Seine's blue nymphs deplore, In watchet weeds, on Gallia's shore J Who drew the sad Sicilian maid, By virtues in her sire betray'd:
O Nature boon, from whom proceed Each forceful thought, each prompted deed j If but from thee I hope to feel, On all my heart imprint thy seal!
• Alluding to the Milesian Tales, some of the earliest romance*.
t C<ivames. 1 Monsieur he Sasje, author of tn. inrom,piira.ble Adventures of Oil \iUb de Saniillane, who died in i'aris m the. year 17<5.
Let some retreating Cynic find
Those oft-turn'd scrolls I leave behind^
The Sports and I this hour agree,
To rove thy scene-full world with thee!
AN ODE FOR MUSIC.
WHEN Music, heavenly maid, was young,
First Fear his hand, its skill to try,
And back recoil'd, he knew not why,
Next Anger rush'd, his eyes on fire,
In one rude clash he struck the lyre,
And swept with hurried hand the strings.
With woeful measures wan Despair—
A sullen, strange, and mingled air,
But thou, 0 Hope! with eyes so fair,
Still would her touch the strain prolong,
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 dose, 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-stainM sword in thunder down;
And, with a withering look,
The war-denouncing trumpet took,
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 head.
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.
With eyes upraised, as one inspired, Pale Melancholy sat retired; And from her wild sequesterM seat, In notes by distance made more sweet, Pour'd through the mellow horn her pensive soul: And, dashing soft from rocks around, Bubbling Tunnels join'd the sound; Through glades and glooms the mingled measure stole, Or o'er some haunted streams with fond delay, Round an holy calm diffusing, Love of peace and lonely musing, In hollow murmurs died away.
But 0! how aiter'd was its sprightller tone! When Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthiest hue,
Her bow across her shoulders 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
Last came Joy's ecstatic trial;
He with vain crown advancing,
Whose sweet entrancing voice he loved the best.
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, energetic, 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 agej
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!
AN EPISTLE, ADDRESSED TO SIR THOMAS HANMER,
On his Edition of Shakspenre*s Works.
WHILE, born to bring the Muse's happier days,