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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.

I.

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 lengthened 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 ;
Exalting 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.

II.

By music, minds an equal temper show,
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 pressed 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 bear away their rage.

III.

But when our country's cause provokes to arms,
How martial music every bosom warms !
So when the first bold vessel dared 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 demi-gods stood round,
And men grew heroes at the sound,

Enflamed with glory's charms :
Each chief his sevenfold shield displayed,
And half unsheathed the shining blade ;
And seas, and rocks, and skies rebound,

To arms, to arms, to arms !

IV.

But when through all the 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 appeared,
O’er all the dreary coasts !

Dreadful gleams,
Dismal screams,
Fires that glow,
Shrieks of woe,
Sullen moans,

Hollow groans,
And cries of tortured ghosts !

But hark ! he strikes the golden lyre;
And see! the tortured ghosts respire,

See, shady forms advance !
Thy stone, o Sisyphus, stand still,
Ixion rests upon his wheel,

And the pale spectres dance !
The fairies sink upon their iron beds,
And snakes uncurled hang listening round their heads.

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By the streams that ever flow,
By the fragrant winds that blow

O'er the Elysian flowers ;
By those happy souls who dwell
In yellow meads of Asphodel,

Or Amaranthine bowers;
By the heroes, arméd 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 prayer :
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.

VI.

But soon, too soon, the lover turns his eyes :
Again she falls, again she dies—she dies!
How wilt thou now the fatal sisters move ?
No crime was thine, if ’tis no crime to love.

Now under hanging mountains,
Beside the fall of fountains,

Or where Hebrus wanders,
Rolling in Mæanders

All alone,
Unheard, unknown,

He makes his moan;
And calls her ghost,
For ever, ever, ever lost !

Now with fúries surrounded,
Despairing confounded,
He trembles, he glows,

Amidst Rhodope's snows;
See, wild as the winds, o'er the desert he flies;
Hark! Hæmus resounds with the Bacchanal's cries

Ah see, he dies !
Yet even in death Eurydice he sung,
Eurydice still trembled on his tongue,

Eurydice the woods,

Eurydice the floods, Eurydice the rocks and hollow mountains rung.

VII.

Music the fiercest grief can charm,
And fate's severest pang

disarm:
Music can soften pain to ease,
And make despair and madness please :

Our joys below it can improve,
And antedate the bliss above.
This the divine Cecilia found,
And to her Maker's praise confined the sound.
When the full organ joins the tuneful quire,

Th’immortal powers incline their ear,
Borne on the swelling notes our souls aspire,
While solemn airs improve the sacred fire ;

And angels lean from heaven to hear.
Of Orpheus now no more let poets tell,

To bright Cecilia greater power is given ;
His numbers raised a shade from hell,
Hers lift the soul to heaven.

Alexander Pope.

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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

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