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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,
Gaz'd on the fair,
Who caus'd 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 rais'd up his head,
As awak'd from the dead,
And amaz'd 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 seiz'd a flambeau, with zeal to de-
Thais led the way,
To light him to his prey;
And, like another Helen, fir'd 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 sweet enthusiast, from her sacred store,
Enlarg❜d the former narrow bounds,
And added length to solemn sounds,
With Nature's mother-wit, and arts unknown be-
Let old Timotheus yield the prize,
Or both divide the crown;
He rais'd a mortal to the skies,
She drew an angel down.
FOR ST. CECILIA'S DAY.
DESCEND, ye Nine! descend and sing;
The breathing instruments inspire ;
Wake into voice each silent string,
And sweep the sounding lyre!
In a sadly-pleasing strain
Let the warbling lute complain;
Let the loud trumpet sound,
Till the roofs all around
The shrill echoes rebound;
While in more lengthen'd notes and slow
The deep, majestic, solemn organs blow.
Hark! the numbers soft and clear
Gently steal upon the ear;
Now louder, and yet louder rise,
And fill with spreading sounds the skies:
Exulting in triumph now swell the bold notes,
In broken air, trembling, the wild music floats
Till by degrees, remote and small,
The strains decay,
And melt away
In a dying, dying fall.
By Music minds an equal temper know,
Nor swell too high, nor sink too low.
If in the breast tumultuous joys arise,
Music her soft assuasive voice applies;
Or when the soul is press'd with cares,
Exalts her in enlivening airs.
Warriors she fires with animated sounds;
Pours balm into the bleeding lover's wounds :
Melancholy lifts her head,
Morpheus rouses from his bed,
Sloth unfolds her arms and wakes,
Listening Envy drops her snakes;
Intestine war no more our passions wage,
And giddy factions hear away their rage.
But when our country's cause provokes to arms,
How martial music every bosom warms!
So when the first bold vessel dar'd the seas,
High on the stern the Thracian rais'd his strain
While Argo saw her kindred trees
Descend from Pelion to the main :
Transported demigods stood round,
And men grew heroes at the sound,
Inflam'd with glory's charms :
Each chief his sevenfold shield display'd,
And half unsheath'd the shining blade;
And seas, and rocks, and skies, rebound
To arms, to arms, to arms!
But when through all th' infernal bounds,
Which flaming Phlegethon surrounds,
Love, strong as death, the poet led
To the pale nations of the dead,
What sounds were heard,
What scenes appear'd,
O'er all the dreary coasts!
Fires that glow,
Shrieks of wo,
And cries of tortur'd ghosts!
But, hark! he strikes the golden lyre;
And, see! the tortur'd ghosts respire;
See, shady forms advance!
Thy stone, O Sisyphus! stands still,
Ixion rests upon his wheel,
And the pale spectres dance;
The Furies sink upon their iron beds,
And snakes uncurl'd hang listening round their heads.
By the streams that ever flow,
By the fragrant winds that blow
O'er th' Elysian flowers;
By those happy souls who dwell
In yellow meads of asphodel,
Or amaranthine bowers;
By the heroes' armed shades,
Glittering through the gloomy glades ;
By the youths that died for love,
Wandering in the myrtle grove,
Restore, restore Eurydice to life;
Oh, take the husband, or return the wife!-
He sung, and Hell consented
To hear the poet's pray'r;
Stern Proserpine relented,
And gave him back the fair.
Thus Song could prevail
O'er Death and o'er Hell,
A conquest how hard and how glorious!
Though Fate had fast bound her,
With Styx nine times round her,
Yet Music and Love were victorious.