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When Thebes (induc'd her Pindar to condemn
By abject anger and malignant phlegm)
Fin’d her free bard for daring to rehearfe -
The praise of Athens in his lib'ral verse,
Kind Sculpture then, his Attic friend, arose,
And well aveng’d him of ungen’rous foes.
Pleas'd her just tribute to the bard to give,
She taught his figure, like his verse, to live:
Athens, of finer Arts the bounteous queen,
Display'd his statue in her public fcene.
Seated in regal state, the crown, the lyre, : : :
Announc'd the sov’reign of the lyric quire :
Greece, who, with all a mother’s transport, found
Envy's base cry in Honour's plaudit drown’d,
Smild on the splendid palm the poet won,
And fondly haild her glory-giving fon,
Whose Muse rich nectar to the mind conveys,
Poignant and sweet ! ---Morality and Praise *I 140
Fair and benignant as his feryid Muse,
Sculpture, like her, a radiant path pursues ;
Pleas'd to enlarge the province of renown,
And add new lustre to th’ Olympic crown.
To him, whom Pisa’s public voice proclaims
As thrice a victor in her hallow'd games,
The statue, rais'd beneath the guard of Jove,
Shines a bright inmate of the sacred grove.
Thou fascinating scene of Arts combin’d,
Where fost'ring Glory rear’d the Grecian mind!
Oft, as to thee the glance of Memory turns,
The spirit kindles, and the bosom burns.
Enchanting Altis! whose domain to fill
Elaborate Sculpture lavish'd all her skill!
Pure was the pleasure thou wert form’d to raise,
Where emulation grew by honour's blaze.
While triumph Aush'd the happy victor's cheek,
Each heart exulted in the name of Greek :
Intestine feuds by Glory taught to cease,
One soul inspir’d the mingled states of Greece;
And public virtue felt her 'ardour rise
From the sweet impulse of fraternal ties.iw. ..
Olympial hadst thou well that spirit nurs’d
Which made thee long of splendid scenes the first;
Had it been thine to cherish and impart ::. .
Vigour of form, and dignity of heart,
Pure and unmix’d, like true heroic worth, i n
With all the abject viče of meaner earth,
No barb'rous foes had made thy triumph cease,
No savage Roman had disfigur’d Greece; . 176
Nor Ammon said, (deriding, when he found
Thy sculptur’d victors in Miletus crown’d)
“ Where were these bodies of gigantic powers,
“ When the barbarian force o’erthrew your towers * ?
But games of honour, in effect benign,. .
With morals flourish, and with them decline.
Through hallow'd walls, where Excellence is nurs’d,
Intruding Envy rarely fails to burst-
Envy, whose touch corrodes, as rust on steel,
Both private happiness and public weal.
Envy was early an Olympian pest;
Thy mangled image may this truth attest,
Thiagenes ! enrich'd with rare renown
For many a contest, and each varied crown ;
Some abject rival, with resentment base,
In secret dar'd thy statue to deface :
The sculptur'd form, as conscious of the blow,
Fell with avenging weight, and crush'd thy foe.
Of Envy's sordid race, so perish'd one,
Her single, nameless, despicable fon*.
But Envy, apt for ever to increase,
Prov'd most prolific in the realms of Greece ;
Hence her free states, by jealous jars destroy'd,
Left in the polish'd world a mournful void.
Corporeal strength, and intellectual power,
Shone, lovely Greece! supremely as thy dower:
But cordial union, the best fruit of sense, ..
The life, the soul of national defence ---
Spirit, that leads the weak to foil the strong,
When every bosom burns for public wrong 200
This spirit, thy vain sons no more the fame,
Fail'd to preserve, as they advanc'd in fame : .
Her snares around them thus Oppression threw,
Taught by their feuds to sep’rate and fubdue.
If Greece herself her real strength had known,
Greece might have foil'd the hostile world alone;
In war's wild tempest an unshaken tower,
Peerless in arts, and paramount in power.
Too late to save, yet potent to suspend
The form of ruin, hastening to descend, .::.210
Sicyon ! thy free, conciliating chief,
Thy firm Aratus, planning wise relief,
Reclaim’d the bickering Greeks by union’s charm,
Bade jarring states with social prowess arm;
And, ere she sunk Oppression’s helpless thrall,
Of Greece protracted and adorn’d the fall.