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Or what (though rare) of later age
Ennobled hath the buskin'd stage.
But, O sad virgin, that thy power Might raise Museus from his bower! Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing Such notes, as, warbled to the string, Drew iron tears down Pluto's cheek, And made Hell grant what love did seek! Or call up him that left half-told The story of Cambuscan bold, Of Camball, and of Algarsife, And who had Canace to wife, That own'd the virtuous ring and glass; And of the wonderous horse of brass, On which the Tartar king did ride; And if ought else great bards beside In sage and solemn tunes have sung, Of tourneys, and of trophies hung, Of forests, and enchantments drear, Where more is meant than meets the ear.
Thus, Night, oft see me in thy pale career, Till civil-suited Morn appear,
Not trick'd and frounc'd as she was wont
With the Attic boy to hunt,
But kerchieft in a comely cloud,
While rocking winds are piping loud,
Or usher'd with a shower still,
When the gust hath blown his fill,
Ending on the russling leaves,
With minute drops from off the eaves.
And, when the Sun begins to fling
His flaring beams, me, goddess, bring
To arched walks of twilight groves,
And shadows brown, that Sylvan loves.
Of pine, or monumental oak,
Where the rude axe, with heaved stroke,
Was never heard the Nymphs to daunt,
Or fright them from their hallow'd haunt.
There in close covert by some brook,
Where no profaner eye may look,
Hide me from day's garish eye,
While the bee with honied thigh,
That at her flowery work doth sing,
And the waters murmuring,
With such consort as they keep,
Entice the dewy-feather'd Sleep;
And let some strange mysterious Dream
Wave at his wings in aëry stream
Of lively portraiture display'd,
Softly on my eyelids laid,
And, as I wake, sweet music breathe
Above, about, or underneath,
Sent by some spirit to mortals good,
Or th' unseen genius of the wood.
But let my due feet never fail
To walk the studious cloisters pale,
And love the high-embowed roof,
With antique pillars massy proof,
And storied windows richly dight,
Casting a dim religious light:
There let the pealing organ blow,
To the full-voic'd quire below,
In service high, and anthems clear,
As may with sweetness, through mine ear,
Dissolve me into ecstasies,
And bring all Heaven before mine eyes!
And may at last my weary age
Find out the peaceful hermitage,
The hairy gown and mossy cell,
Where I may sit and rightly spell
Of every star that Heaven doth shew,
And every herb that sips the dew ;
Till old experience do attain
To something like prophetic strain.
These pleasures, Melancholy, give, And I with thee will choose to live.
ALEXANDER'S FEAST: OR, THE POWER OF MUSIC.
IN HONOUR OF ST. CECILIA'S DAY.
"Twas at the royal feast, for Persia won
By Philip's warlike son:
Aloft in awful state
The godlike hero sate
On his imperial throne:
His valiant peers were plac'd 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, plac'd 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 listening crowd admire the lofty sound:
A present deity! they shout around:
A present deity! the vaulted roofs rebound.
With ravish'd tears
The monarch hears;
Assumes the god,
Affects to nod,
And seems to shake the spheres.
The praise of Bacchus then the sweet musician
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
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,
PINDARIC AND OTHER ODES.
Sooth'd 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 master saw the madness rise;
His glowing cheeks, his ardent eyes;
And while he Heav'n and Earth defied,
Chang'd 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 expos'd 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 smil'd to see
That Love was in the next degree:
"Twas but a kindred sound to move,
For pity melts the mind to love.
Softly sweet, in Lydian measures,
Soon he sooth'd 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: