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The hunter's call, to Faun and Dryad known. The oak-crowned Sisters, and their chaste-eyed Queen, Satyrs and Sylvan boys were seen,
Peeping forth from their alleys green:
Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear;
And Sport leaped up, and seized his beechen spear.
Last came Joy's ecstatic trial;
He, with viny crown advancing,
First to the lively pipe his hand addressed: But soon he saw the brisk awakening viol,
Whose sweet entrancing voice he loved the best:
They would have thought, who heard the strain,
They saw, in Tempe's vale, her native maids,
Amidst the festal sounding shades,
To some unwearied minstrel dancing,
While, as his flying fingers kissed the strings,
Love framed with Mirth a gay fantastic round;
Loose were her tresses seen, her zone unbound;
And he, amidst his frolic play,
As if he would the charming air repay,
Shook thousand odours from his dewy wings.
O Music! sphere-descended maid,
Friend of Pleasure, Wisdom's aid!
Why Goddess? why to us denied,
Lays't thou thy ancient lyre aside?
As in that loved Athenian bower,
You learned an all-commanding power
Thy mimic soul, O Nymph endeared,
Can well recall what then it heard.
Where is thy native simple heart,
Devote to Virtue, Fancy, Art?
Arise, as in that elder time,
Warm, energetic, chaste, sublime!
Thy wonders in that godlike age,
Fill thy recording Sister's page-
'Tis said and I believe the tale,
Thy humblest reed could more prevail,
Had more of strength, diviner rage,
Than all which charms this laggard age;
E'en all at once together found,
Cecilia's mingled world of sound-
O bid our vain endeavours cease;
Revive the just designs of Greece:
Return in all thy simple state!
Confirm the tales her sons relate!
How sleep the brave, who sink to rest,
By all their country's wishes blest!
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallowed mould,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod
Than Fancy's feet have ever trod.
By fairy hands their knell is rung;
By forms unseen their dirge is sung;
There Honour comes, a pilgrim gray,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
And Freedom shall awhile repair,
To dwell a weeping hermit there.
If aught of oaten stop, or pastoral song,
May hope, O pensive Eve, to soothe thine ear
Like thy own modest springs,
Thy springs, and dying gales;
O nymph reserved, while now the bright-haired sun
Sits in yon western tent, whose cloudy skirts,
With brede ethereal wove,
Now air is hushed, save where the weak-eyed bat, With short shrill shriek flits by on leathern wing, Or where the beetle winds
His small but sullen horn.
As oft he rises midst the twilight path,
Against the pilgrim borne in heedless hum;
Now teach me, maid composed,
To breathe some softened strain,
Whose numbers stealing through thy darkening vale, May not unseemly with its stillness suit ;
As musing slow I hail
Thy genial loved return!
For when thy folding star arising shows
His paly circlet, at his warning lamp
The fragrant hours and elves
Who slept in buds the day,
And many a nymph who wreathes her brows with sedge, And sheds the freshening dew, and, lovelier still,
The pensive pleasures sweet
Prepare thy shadowy car.
Then let me rove some wild and heathy scene,
Or find some ruin midst its dreary dells,
Whose walls more awful nod
By thy religious gleams.
Or if chill blustering winds, or driving rain,
Prevent my willing feet, be mine the hut,
That from the mountain's side
Views wilds and swelling floods,
And hamlets brown, and dim discovered spires,
And hears their simple bell, and marks o'er all
Thy dewy fingers draw
The gradual dusky veil.
While Spring shall pour his showers, as oft he wont,
And bathe thy breathing tresses, meekest Eve!
While Summer loves to sport
Beneath thy lingering light;
While sallow Autumn fills thy lap with leaves;
Or Winter yelling through the troublous air,
Affrights thy shrinking train,
And rudely rends thy robes;
So long, regardful of thy quiet rule,
Shall Fancy, Friendship, Science, smiling Peace,
Thy gentlest influence own,
And love thy favourite name!
Soft maids and village hinds shall bring Each opening sweet, of earliest bloom, And rifle all the breathing spring.
No wailing ghost shall dare appear,
To vex with shrieks this quiet grove,
But shepherd lads assemble here,
And melting virgins own their love.
No withered witch shall here be seen,
No goblins lead their nightly crew!
The female fays shall haunt the green,
And dress thy grave with pearly dew!
The redbreast oft at evening hours,
Shall kindly lend his little aid,
With hoary moss, and gathered flowers,
To deck the ground where thou art laid.
When howling winds and beating rain,
In tempests shake the sylvan cell,
Or midst the chace on every plain,
The tender thought on thee shall dwell:
Each lonely scene shall thee restore,
For thee the tear be duly shed;
Beloved, till life can charm no more;
And mourned, till pity's self be dead.