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Still on thy solemn stops attend:
Warm Charity, the general friend,
With Justice, to herself severe,
And Pity, dropping soft the sadly-pleasing teat
Oh, gently on thy suppliant's head,
Dread Goddess, lay thy chast'ning hand! Not in thy Gorgon terrors clad,
Nor circled with the vengeful band (As by the impious thou art seen) With thundering voice, and threat'ning mien, With screaming Horror's funeral cry, Despair, and fell Disease, and ghastly Poverty, Thy form benign, oh, Goddess, wear,
Thy milder influence impart, Thy philosophic train be there
To soften, not to wound my heart. The generous spark extinct revive, Teach me to love and to forgive. Exact my own delects to scan., What others are to feel, and know myself a Man. V. THE PROGRESS OF POESY.
Qatvavra avvero7(rtv' eg
Ae XaT<£e» To nay, Ip/utivewv.
Pindar, Olymp. II.
AWAKE, jEolian lyre, awake,
And give to rapture all thy trembling strings.
tFrom Helicon's harmonious springs, A thousand rills their mazy progress take: The laughing flowers, that round them blow. Drink life and fragrance as they flow. Now the rich stream of music winds along Deep, majestic, smooth, and strong, Through verdant vales, and Ceres' golden reign: Now rolling down the steep amain, Headlong, impetuous, see it pour: The rocks, and nodding groves, rebellow to the roar.
1.2. JOh! Sov'reign of the willing soul,
Parent of sweet and solemn breathing airs,
And frantic Passions, hear thy soft control.
* When the author first published this and the following Ode, he was advised, even by his friends, to subjoin some few explanatory notes; but had loo muth respect for the understanding oi' his readers to take that liberty.
t The subject and simile, as usual with Pindar, are united- The various sources of poetry, whirh Rives lift and lustre t..» all it touches, are here described, its quiet majestic progress enriching every subject (otherwise dry and barren) with a pomp of diction and luxuriant barnmny oi number*; and its more rapid ai.d irresi>tii>k- course, when swoln and hurried aw.iv by ihe conflict of tumultuous passion*
% Power ot harmony localin tli- turbulent saliies of the soul. The thoughts are borrowed from the first i'ytnian of h'uidir.
And dropp'd his thirsty lance at thy command*
Perching on the sceptred hand
Of Jove, thy magic lulls the feather'd king
With ruffled plumes, and flagging wing:
Quench'd in dark clouds of slumber lie
The terror of his beak, and lightnings of his eye.
•Thee the voice, the dance, obey,
Temper'd to thy warbled lay.
O'er Idalia's velvet green
The rosy-crowned Loves are seen,
On Cytherea's day,
With antic Sport, and blue-eyed Pjeasures,
Frisking light in frolic measures j
Now pursuing, now retreating,
Now in circling troops they meet: To brisk notes in cadence beating
Glance their many-twinkling feet. Slow melting strains their Queen's approach declare:
Where'er she turns the Graces homage pay. With arms sublime, that float upon the air,
In gliding state she wins her easy way: O'er her warm cheek, and rising bosom move The bloom of young Desire, and purple light of Love
tMan's feeble race what ills await!
Labour, and Penury, the racks of Pain,
And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate!
* Power of harmony to produce all the graces of motion in the body.
t To compensate the real and imaginary ills of life, the Muse wa* given to mankind by the same Providenee thut sends the day by iW cutwrful presence to dispel the gloom and terrors of the night*
Say, has he giv'n in vain the heav'nly Muse?
Night, and all her sickly dews,
Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry,
He gives to range the dreary sky:
Till down the eastern cliffs afar
Hyperion's march they spy, and glittering shafts of war.
•In climes beyond the solar road,
To cheer the shivering native's dull abode.
Th' unconquerable Mind, and Freedom's holy flame.
fWoods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep, Isles, that, crown th' iEgean deep,
Fields, that cool Ilissus laves,
Or where Masander's amber waves
* Extensive influence of poetic genius over the remotest and most uncivilized nations: iis connexion' wiili liberty, and the virtues that n.aurally attend on it.—(Sie the F.rse, Norwegian, and Welsh Fragments; the Lapland and American Songs.)
•f Progress of poeiry from Greece to Italy, and from Italy to England. Chaucer was not unacquainted with" the writings of Dante or of Petrarch. The Karl «,f Mutc\ and Sir Tnoaias Wyatt had travelled in it ilv, and formed thur tist. t.^.i-v; Speii-er imitated the Italian writers; Miliou improved on them; but this school exp red soon after the Kestor ition, and a new one arose on the French model, which hag eubsisted ever since.
Where each old poetic Mountain
Inspiration breath'd around;
Murmur'd deep a hollow sound:
Left their Parnassus for the Latian plains.
And coward Vice, that revels in her chains, When Labium had her lofty spirit lost, I hey sought, oh Albion! next thy sea encircled coat*.
Far from the sun and summer-gale,
In thy green lap was Nature's* darling laid,
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 I
This can unlock the gates of Joy;
Of Horror that, and thrilling Fears.
Or ope the sacred source of sympatnetic Tears.'
Upon the seraph-wings of Ecstasy,
The secrets of th' abyss to spy.
* Shakspeare. f Mlltoo.