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Where joyous Youth, to Music's mellow strain,
Twines in the dance with Nymphs for ever fair, While Spring eternal, on the lilied plain,
Waves amber radiance through the fields of air!
The tuneful Nine (so sacred legends tell)
First wak’d their heavenly lyre these scenes among; Still in your greenwood bowers they love to dwell;
Still in your vales they swell the choral song!
For there the tuneful, chaste, Pierian fair,
The guardian nymphs of green Parnassus, now Sprung from Harmonia, while her graceful hair
Way'd in bright auburn o'er her polish'd brow! ·
ANTISTROPHE I. Where silent vales, and glades of green array,
The murm’ring wreaths of cool Cephisus lave, There, as the Muse hath sung, at noon of day,
The Queen of Beauty bow'd to taste the wave;
And blest the stream, and breath'd across the land,
The soft sweet gale that fans yon summer bowers;
And there the sister Loves, a smiling band,
Crown'd with the fragrant wreaths of rosy flowers!
« And go, (she cries) in yonder vallies rove,
With Beauty's torch the solemn scenes illume; Wake in each eye the radiant light of Love,
Breathe on each cheek young Passion's tender bloom!
Entwine, with myrtle chains, your soft controul,
To sway the hearts of Freedom's darling kind! With glowing eharms enrapture Wisdom's soul,
And mould to grace ethereal Virtue's mind."
The land where Heaven's own hallow'd waters play,
Where Friendship binds the generous and the good, Say, shall it hail thee from thy frantic way, Unholy woman! with thy hands embrued
In thine own children's gore?-oh! ere they bleed,
Let Nature's voice thy ruthless heart appal! Pause at the bold, irrevocable deed
The mother strikes--the guiltless babes shall fall!
Think what remorse thy maddening thoughts shall sting,
When dying pangs their gentle bosoms tear; 46 Where shalt thou sink, when lingʻring echoes ring
The screams of horror in thy tortur'd ear?
No! let thy bosom melt to Pity's cry,
In dust we kneel-oby sacred Heaven imploreO! stop thry lifted arm, ere yet they die,
Nor dip thy horrid hands in infant gore!
Say, how shalt thou that barb'rous soul assume,
Undamp'd by horror at the daring plan? Hast thou a heart to work thy children's doom?
Or hands to finish what thy wrath began?
When o’er each babe you look a last adieu,
And gaze on Innocence that smiles asleep, Shall no fond feeling beat, to Nature true,
Charm thee to pensive thought-and bid thee weep? 60
When the young suppliants clasp their Parent dear,
Heave the deep sob, and pour the artless prayer,
Gush o'er the harden'd features of despair !
Nature shall throb in ev'ry tender string,
Thy trembling heart the ruffian's task deny ;
Thy horror-smitten hands afar shall Aing
The blade, undrench'd in blood's eternal dye!