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ODE ON ST. CECILIA'S DAY.
[This saint is said to have suffered martyrdom in 230 A.D. She refused to sacrifice to idols, and was therefore condemned to death. Much legendary matter is mixed up with her history. She is regarded as the inventor of the organ, and the patroness of music generally.
Descend, ye Nine ! descend and sing ;
The breathing instruments inspire,
In a sadly-pleasing strain
Let the loud trumpet sound,
The shrill echoes rebound:
Hark! the numbers soft and clear,
And fill with spreading sounds the skies ;
The strains decay,
And melt away,
By music, minds an equal temper show,
Or when the soul is pressed with cares,
Exalts her in enlivening airs.
Melancholy lifts her head,
Listening Envy drops her snakes;
But when our country's cause provokes to arms,
While Argo saw her kindred trees
Enflamed with glory's charms :
To arms, to arms, to arms !
But when through all the infernal bounds,
Love, strong as death, the poet led
What sounds were heard,
What scenes appeared,
But hark ! he strikes the golden lyre;
See, shady forms advance !
And the pale spectres dance !
By the streams that ever flow,
O'er the Elysian flowers ;
Or Amaranthine bowers;
To hear the poet's prayer :
him back the fair.
O'er death and o'er hell,
Though fate had fast bound her
With Styx nine times round her, Yet music and love were victorious.
But soon, too soon, the lover turns his eyes :
Now under hanging mountains,
Or where Hebrus wanders,
He makes his moan;
Now with fúries surrounded,
Amidst Rhodope's snows;
Ah see, he dies !
Eurydice the woods,
Eurydice the floods, Eurydice the rocks and hollow mountains rung.
Music the fiercest grief can charm,
Our joys below it can improve,
Th’immortal powers incline their ear,
And angels lean from heaven to hear.
To bright Cecilia greater power is given ;
EXECUTION OF LADY JANE GRAY. This excellent personage was descended from the royal line of England by both her parents.
She was carefully educated in the principles of the Reformation, and her wisdom and virtue rendered her a shining example to her sex. But it was her lot to continue only a short period on this stage of being ; for, in early life, she fell a sacrifice to the wild ambition of the Duke of Northumberland, who promoted a marriage between her and his son, Lord Guilford Dudley, and raised her to the throne of England, in opposition to the rights of Mary and Elizabeth. At the time of their marriage she was only about eighteen years of age, and her husband was also very young; a season of life very unequal to oppose the interested views of artful and aspiring men, who, instead of exposing them to danger, should have been the protectors of their innocence and youth.
This extraordinary young person, besides the solid endowments of piety and virtue, possessed the most engaging disposition, the most accomplished parts ; and being of an equal age with King Edward VI., she had received all her education with him, and seemed even to possess a greater facility in acquiring every part of manly and classical literature.
She had attained a knowledge of the Roman and Greek languages, as well as of several modern tongues ; had passed most of her time in an application to learning, and expressed a great indifference for other occupations and amusements usual with her sex and station. Roger Ascham, tutor to the Lady Elizabeth, having at one time paid her a visit, found her employed in reading Plato, while the rest of the family were engaged in a party of hunting in the park; and upon his admiring the singularity of her choice, she told him that she “received more pleasure from that author than others could reap from all their sport and gaiety:”.
Her heart, replete with this love of literature and serious studies, and with tenderness towards her husband, who was deserving of her affection, had never opened itself to