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295

ODE WRITTEN IN MDCCXLVI

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 hallow'd 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!

296

THE PASSIONS

An Ode for Music
WHEN Music, heavenly maid, was young,
While yet in early Greece she sung,
The Passions oft, to hear her shell,
Throng'd around her magic cell
Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting,
Possest beyond the Muse's painting,
By turns they felt the glowing mind
Disturb’d, delighted, raised, refined:
'Till once, 'tis said, when all were fired,
Fill'd with fury, rapt, inspired,
From the supporting myrtles round
They snatch'd her instruments of sound,
And, as they oft had heard apart
Sweet lessons of her forceful art,
Each, for Madness ruled the hour,
Would prove his own expressive power.

First Fear his hand, its skill to try,

Amid the chords bewilder'd laid, And back recoil'd, he knew not why,

E'en at the sound himself had made.

Next Anger rush'd, his eyes on fire,

In lightnings own'd his secret stings; In one rude clash he struck the lyre

And swept with hurried hand the strings.

With woeful measures wan Despair,

Low sullen sounds, his grief beguiled; A solemn, strange, and mingled air,

'Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild.

But thou, O Hope, with eyes so fair,

What was thy delighted measure? Still it whisper'd promised pleasure

And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail ! Still would her touch the strain prolong:

And from the rocks, the woods, the vale She call'd on Echo still through all the song;

And, where her sweetest theme she chose,

A soft responsive voice was heard at every close; And Hope enchanted smiled, and waved her golden hair;

And longer had she sung :-—but with a frown

Revenge impatient rose:
He threw his blood-stain'd sword in thunder down;

And with a withering look
The war-denouncing trumpet took
And blew a blast so loud and dread,
Were ne'er prophetic sounds so full of woe!

And ever and anon he beat

The doubling drum with furious heat;
And, though sometimes, each dreary pause between,

Dejected Pity at his side

Her soul-subduing voice applied, Yet still he kept his wild unalter'd mien, While each strain'd ball of sight seem'd bursting from his head. Thy numbers, Jealousy, to nought were fix'd:

Sad proof of thy distressful state!
Of differing themes the veering song was mix'd;

And now it courted Love, now raving callid on Hate.

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With eyes up-raised, as one inspired,
Pale Melancholy sat retired;
And from her wild sequester'd seat,
In notes by distance made more sweet,
Pour'd through the mellow horn her pensive soul:

And dashing soft from rocks around

Bubbling runnels join'd the sound; Through glades and glooms the mingled measure stole, Or, o'er some haunted stream, with fond delay,

Round an holy calm diffusing,

Love of peace, and lonely musing, In hollow murmurs died away.

But O! how alter'd was its sprightlier tone
When Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthiest hue,

Her bow across her shoulder flung,

Her buskins gemm’d with morning dew,
Blew an inspiring air, that dale and thicket rung,

The hunter's call to Faun and Dryad known !
The oak-crown'd Sisters and their chaste-eyed Queen,

Satyrs and Sylvan Boys, were seen

Peeping from forth their alleys green: Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear;

And Sport leapt up, and seized his beechen spear.

Last came Joy's ecstatic trial:
He, with viny crown advancing,

First to the lively pipe his hand addrest:
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 kiss'd 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,
Lay'st thou thy ancient lyre aside?
As in that loved Athenian bower
You learn'd an all-commanding power
Thy mimic soul, O nymph endear'd!
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, energic, chaste, sublime !
Thy wonders, in that god-like 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!

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IF aught of oaten stop or pastoral song
May hope, chaste Eve, to soothe thy modest ear

Like thy own solemn springs,
Thy springs, and dying gales;

O Nymph reserved -while now the bright-hair'd sun
Sits in yon western tent, whose cloudy skirts,

With brede ethereal wove,
O'erhang his wavy bed,

Now air is hush'd, save where the weak-eyed bat
With short shrill shriek fits 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 soften'd 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,

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