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And to our high-raised phantasy present
That undisturbéd Song of pure concent
Aye sung before the sapphire-colour'd throne
To Him that sits thereon,

With saintly shout and solemn jubilee ;
Where the bright Seraphim in burning row
Their loud uplifted angel-trumpets blow;
And the Cherubic host in thousand quires
Touch their immortal harps of golden wires,
With those just Spirits that wear victorious palms
Hymns devout and holy psalms
Singing everlastingly:

That we on earth, with undiscording voice
May rightly answer that melodious noise;
As once we did, till disproportion'd sin
Jarr'd against nature's chime, and with harsh din
Broke the fair music that all creatures made

To their great Lord, whose love their motion sway'd In perfect diapason, whilst they stood

In first obedience, and their state of good.

O may we soon again renew that Song,

And keep in tune with Heaven, till God erelong
To his celestial concert us unite,

To live with him, and sing in endless morn of light!

J. Milton

CXVI

ALEXANDER's Feast, or, THE POWER OF MUSIC

'T

Aloft in awful state

WAS at the royal feast for Persia won
By Philip's warlike son-

The godlike hero sate

On his imperial throne;

His valiant peers were placed around,
Their brows with roses and with myrtles bound
(So should desert in arms be crown'd);

The lovely Thais by his side

Sate like a blooming Eastern bride

In flower of youth and beauty's pride:-
Happy, happy, happy pair!

None but the brave

None but the brave

None but the brave deserves the fair!

Timotheus placed on high

Amid the tuneful quire

With flying fingers touch'd the lyre :
The trembling notes ascend the sky
And heavenly joys inspire.

The song began from Jove

Who left his blissful seats above-
Such is the power of mighty love!
A dragon's fiery form belied the god;
Sublime on radiant spires he rode
When he to fair Olympia prest,
And while he sought her snowy breast;

Then round her slender waist he curl'd,

And stamp'd an image of himself, a sovereign of the

world.

The listening crowd admire the lofty sound!

A present deity! they shout around :

A present deity! the vaulted roofs rebound!
With ravish'd ears

The monarch hears,

Assumes the god;

Affects to nod

And seems to shake the spheres.

The praise of Bacchus then the sweet musician sung:

Of Bacchus ever fair and ever young:

The jolly god in triumph comes !

Sound the trumpets, beat the drums!
Flush'd with a purple grace

He shows his honest face:

Now give the hautboys breath; he comes, he comes !

Bacchus, ever fair and young,
Drinking joys did first ordain;
Bacchus' blessings are a treasure,
Drinking is the soldier's pleasure:
Rich the treasure

Sweet the pleasure,

Sweet is pleasure after pain.

Soothed with the sound, the king grew

vain ;

Fought all his battles o'er again,

And thrice he routed all his foes, and thrice he slew

the slain !

The master saw the madness rise,

His glowing cheeks, his ardent eyes;
And while he Heaven and Earth defied
Changed his hand and check'd his pride.
He chose a mournful Muse

Soft pity to infuse :

He sung Darius great and good,
By too severe a fate
Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen,
Fallen from his high estate,
And weltering in his blood;
Deserted, at his utmost need,
By those his former bounty fed;
On the bare earth exposed he lies
With not a friend to close his eyes.

- With downcast looks the joyless victor sate, Revolving in his alter'd soul

The various turns of Chance below;
And now and then a sigh he stole,
And tears began to flow.

The mighty master smiled to see
That love was in the next degree;
'T was but a kindred sound to move,
For pity melts the mind to love.
Softly sweet, in Lydian measures
Soon he soothed his soul to pleasures.
War, he sung, is toil and trouble,
Honour but an empty bubble,
Never ending, still beginning;
Fighting still, and still destroying;
If the world be worth thy winning,
Think, O think, it worth enjoying:
Lovely Thais sits beside thee,
Take the good the gods provide thee!

The many rend the skies with loud applause;
So Love was crown'd, but Music won the cause.
The prince, unable to conceal his pain,
Gazed on the fair

Who caused his care,

And sigh'd and look'd, sigh'd and look'd,
Sigh'd and look'd, and sigh'd again :
At length with love and wine at once opprest
The vanquish'd victor sunk upon her breast.

Now strike the golden lyre again :

A louder yet, and yet a louder strain!
Break his bands of sleep asunder

And rouse him like a rattling peal of thunder.

Hark, hark! the horrid sound

Has raised up his head :
As awaked from the dead

And amazed he stares around.

Revenge, revenge, Timotheus cries,

See the Furies arise!

See the snakes that they rear

How they hiss in their hair,

And the sparkles that flash from their eyes!

Behold a ghastly band

Each a torch in his hand!

Those are Grecian ghosts, that in battle were slain
And unburied remain
Inglorious on the plain :

Give the vengeance due

To the valiant crew! .

Behold how they toss their torches on high,
How they point to the Persian abodes

And glittering temples of their hostile gods,

– The princes applaud with a furious joy: And the King seized a flambeau with zeal to destroy; Thais led the way

To light him to his prey,

And like another Helen, fired another Troy !

-Thus, long ago,

Ere heaving bellows learn'd to blow,

While organs yet were mute,

Timotheus, to his breathing flute

And sounding lyre

Could swell the soul to rage, or kindle soft desire.

At last divine Cecilia came,

Inventress of the vocal frame;

The sweetnthusiast from her sacred store

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