Ode Written In The Beginning Of The Year 1746

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 grey,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
And Freedom shall awhile repair
To dwell a weeping hermit there!

Ode To Simplicity

O thou, by Nature taught
To breathe her genuine thought
In numbers warmly pure, and sweetly strong;
Who first on mountains wild,
In Fancy, loveliest child,
Thy babe, or Pleasure's, nurs'd the pow'rs of song!

Thou, who with hermit heart,
Disdain'st the wealth of art,
And gauds, and pageant weeds, and trailing pall,
But com'st a decent maid,
In Attic robe array'd,
O chaste, unboastful nymph, to thee I call!

By all the honey'd store
On Hybla's thymy shore;
By all her blooms, and mingled murmurs dear;
By her whose lovelorn woe
In ev'ning musings slow
Sooth'd sweetly sad Electra's poet's ear:

By old Cephisus deep,
Who spread his wavy sweep
In warbled wand'rings round thy green retreat;
On whose enamell'd side,
When holy Freedom died,
No equal haunt allur'd thy future feet.

O sister meek of Truth,
To my admiring youth,
Thy sober aid and native charms infuse!
The flow'rs that sweetest breathe,
Tho' Beauty cull'd the wreath,
Still ask thy hand to range their order'd hues.

While Rome could none esteem
But virtue's patriot theme,
You lov'd her hills, and led her laureate band;
But stay'd to sing alone
To one distinguish'd throne,
And turn'd thy face, and fled her alter'd land.

No more, in hall or bow'r,
The passions own thy pow'r;
Love, only love her forceless numbers mean;
For thou hast left her shrine,
Nor olive more, nor vine,
Shall gain thy feet to bless the servile scene.

Tho' taste, tho' genius bless
To some divine excess,
Faints the cold work till thou inspire the whole;
What each, what all supply,
May court, may charm our eye;
Thou, only thou canst raise the meeting soul!

Of these let others ask,
To aid some mighty task,
I only seek to find thy temp'rate vale;
Where oft my reed might sound
To maids and shepherds round,
And all thy sons, O Nature, learn my tale.

O D E, To A Lady On The Death Of Colonel R O S S In The Action Of Fontenoy

1.

W H I L E, lost to all his former Mirth,
Britannia's Genius bends to Earth,
And mourns the fatal Day:
While stain's with Blood he strives to tear
Unseemly from his Sea-green Hair
The Wreaths of chearful May:

2.

The Thoughts which musing Pity pays,
And fond Remembrance loves to raise,
Your faithful Hours attend:
Still Fancy to Herself unkind,
Awakes to Grief the soften'd Mind,
And points the bleeding Friend.

3.

By rapid Scheld's descending Wave
His Country's Vows shall bless the Grave,
Where'er the Youth is laid:
That sacred Spot the Village Hind
With ev'ry sweetest Turf shall bind,
And Peace protect the Shade.

4.

Blest Youth, regardful of thy Doom,
Aërial Hands shall build thy Tomb,
With shadowy Trophies crown'd:
Whilst Honor bath'd in Tears shall rove
To sigh thy Name thro' ev'ry Grove,
And call his Heros round.

5.

The warlike Dead of ev'ry Age,
Who fill the fair recording Page,
Shall leave their sainted Rest:
And, half-reclining on his Spear,
Each wond'ring Chief by turns appear,
To hail the blooming Guest.

6.

Old Edward's Sons, unknown to yield,
Shall croud from Cressy's laurell'd Field,
And gaze with fix'd Delight:
Again for Britain's Wrongs they feel,
Again they snatch the gleamy Steel,
And wish th'avenging Fight.

7.

But lo where, sunk in deep Despair,
Her Garments torn, her Bosom bare,
Impatient Freedom lies!
Her matted Tresses madly spread,
To ev'ry Sod, which warps the Dead,
She turns her joyless Eyes.

8.

Ne'er shall she leave that lowly Ground
Till Notes of Triumph bursting round
Proclaim her Reign restor'd:
Till William seek the sad Retreat,
And bleeding at her sacred Feet,
Present the sated Sword.

9.

If, weak to sooth so soft an Heart,
These pictur'd Glories nought impart,
To dry thy constant Tear:
If yet, in Sorrow's distant Eye,
Expos'd and pale thou see'st him lie,
Wild War insulting near:

10.

Where'er from Time Thou court'st Relief.
The Muse shall still, with social Grief,
Her gentlest Promise keep:
Ev'n humble Harting's cottag'd Vale
Shall learn the sad repeated Tale,
And bid her Shepherds weep.

The Manners - An O D E

FAREWELL, for clearer Ken design'd,
The dim-discover'd Tracts of Mind:
Truths which, from Action's Paths retir'd,
My silent Search in vain requir'd!
No more my Sail that Deep explores,
No more I search those magic Shores,
What Regions part the World of Soul,
Or whence thy Streams, Opinion, roll:
If e'er I round such Rairy Field,
Some Pow'r impart the Spear and Shield,
At which the Wizzard Passions fly,
By which the giant Follies die!
Farewell the Porch, whose Roof is seen,
Arch'd with th'enlivening Olive's Green:
Where Science, prank'd in tissued Vest,
By Reason, Pride, and Fancy drest,
Comes like a Bride so trim array'd,
To wed with Doubt in Plato's Shade!
Youth of the quick uncheated Sight,
Thy Walks, Observance, more invite!
O Thou, who lov'st that ampler Range,
Where Life's wide Prospects round thee change,
And with her mingling Sons ally'd,
Throw'st the prattling Page aside:
To me in Converse sweet impart,
To read in Man the native Heart,
To learn, where Science sure is found,
From Nature as she lives around:
And gazing oft her Mirror true,
By turns each shifting Image view!
Till meddling Art's officious Lore,
Reverse the lessons taught before,
Alluring [him] from a safer Rule,
To dream in her enchanted School;
Thou Heav'n, whate'er of Great we boast,
Hast blest this social Science most.
Retiring hence to thoughtful Cell,
As Fancy breathes her potent Spell,
Not vain she finds the charmful Task,
In Pageant quaint, in motley Mask,
Behold before her musing Eyes,
The countless Manners round her rise;
While ever varying as they pass,
To some Contempt applies her Glass:
With these the white-rob'd Maids combine,
And those the laughing Satyrs join!
But who is He whom now she views,
In Robe of wild contending Hues?
Thou by the Passions nurs'd, I greet
The comic Sock that binds thy Feet!
O Humour, Thou whose Name is known,
To Britain's favor'd Isle alone:
Me too amidst thy Band admit,
There where the young-eyed healthful Wit,
(Whose Jewels in his crisped Hair
Are plac'd each other's Beams to share,
Whom no Delights from Thee divide)
In Laughter loos'd attends thy Side!
By old Miletus who so long
Has ceas'd his Love-inwoven Song:
By all you taught the Tuscan Maids,
In chang'd Italia's modern Shades:
By Him, whose Knight's distinguish'd Name
Refin'd a Nation's Lust of Fame;
Whose Tales ev'n now, with Echos sweet,
Castilia's Moorish Hills repeat:
Or Him, whome Seine's blue Nymphs deplore,
In watchet Weeds on Gallia's Shore,
Who drew the sad Sicilian Maid,
By Virtues in her Sire betray'd:
O Nature boon, from whom proceed
Each forceful Thought, each prompted Deed;
If but from Thee I hope to feel,
On all my Heart imprint thy Seal!
Let some retreating Cynic find,
Those oft-turn'd Scrolls I leave behind,
The Sports and I this Hour agree,
To rove thy Scene-full World with Thee!

Eclogue The Third Abra

SCENE, a forest TIME, the Evening

In Georgia's land, where Tefflis' towers are seen,
In distant view along the level green,
While evening dews enrich the glittering glade,
And the tall forests cast a longer shade,
Amidst the maids of Zagen's peaceful grove,
Emyra sung the pleasing cares of love.
Of Abra first began the tender strain,
Who led her youth with flocks upon the plain.
At morn she came those willing flocks to lead,
Where lilies rear them in the watery mead;

From early dawn the livelong hours she told,
Till late at silent ev'n she penned the fold.
Deep in the grove beneath the secret shade,
A various wreath of odorous flowers she made.
Gay-motleyed pinks and sweet jonquils she chose,
The violet-blue that on the moss-bank grows;
All-sweet to sense, the flaunting rose was there;
The finished chaplet well-adorned her hair.
Great Abbas chanced that fated morn to stray,
By love conducted from the chase away;

Among the vocal vales he heard her song,
And sought the vales and echoing groves among.
At length he found and wooed the rural maid:
She knew the monarch, and with fear obeyed.
Be every youth like royal Abbas moved,
And every Georgian maid like Abra loved.
The royal lover bore her from the plain,
Yet still her crook and bleating flock remain:
Oft as she went, she backward turned her view,
And bade that crook and bleating flock adieu.

Fair happy maid! to other scenes remove,
To richer scenes of golden power and love!
Go leave the simple pipe and shepherd's strain,
With love delight thee, and with Abbas reign.
Be every youth like royal Abbas moved,
And every Georgian maid like Abra loved.
Yet midst the blaze of courts she fixed her love
On the cool fountain or the shady grove;
Still with the shepherd's innocence her mind
To the sweet vale and flowery mead inclined,

And oft as spring renewed the plains with flowers,
Breathed his soft gales and led the fragrant hours,
With sure return she sought the sylvan scene,
The breezy mountains and the forests green.
Her maids around her moved, a duteous band!
Each bore a crook all-rural in her hand.
Some simple lay of flocks and herds they sung;
With joy the mountain and the forest rung.
Be every youth like royal Abbas moved,
And every Georgian maid like Abra loved.
And oft the royal lover left the care
And thorns of state, attendant on the fair:
Oft to the shades and low-roofed cots retired,
Or sought the vale where first his heart was fired;
A russet mantle, like a swain, he wore,
And thought of crowns and busy courts no more.
Be every youth like royal Abbas moved,
And every Georgian maid like Abra loved.
Blest was the life that royal Abbas led:
Sweet was his love and innocent his bed.

What if in wealth the noble maid excel;
The simple shepherd girl can love as well.
Let those who rule on Persia's jewelled throne,
Be famed for love and gentlest love alone:
Or wreathe, like Abbas, full of fair renown,
The lover's myrtle with the warrior's crown.
Oh happy days! the maids around her say,
Oh haste, profuse of blessings, haste away!

Be every youth like royal Abbas moved,
And every Georgian maid like Abra loved.

Eclogue The First Selim

SCENE, a Valley near Bagdat TIME, the Morning

`Ye Persian maids, attend your poet's lays,
And hear how shepherds pass their golden days:
Not all are blest, whom fortune's hand sustains
With wealth in courts, nor all that haunt the plains:
Well may your hearts believe the truths I tell;
'Tis virtue makes the bliss, where'er we dwell.'
Thus Selim sung, by sacred Truth inspired;
No praise the youth, but hers alone, desired.
Wise in himself, his meaning songs conveyed
Informing morals to the shepherd maid,

Or taught the swains that surest bliss to find,
What groves nor streams bestow, a virtuous mind.
When sweet and odorous, like an eastern bride,
The radiant morn resumed her orient pride,
When wanton gales along the valleys play,
Breathe on each flower, and bear their sweets away:
By Tigris' wandering waves he sat, and sung
This useful lesson for the fair and young.

`Ye Persian dames,' he said, `to you belong,
Well may they please, the morals of my song;

No fairer maids, I trust, than you are found,
Graced with soft arts, the peopled world around!
The morn that lights you to your loves supplies
Each gentler ray delicious to your eyes:
For you those flowers her fragrant hands bestow,
And yours the love that kings delight to know.
Yet think not these, all beauteous as they are,
The best kind blessings heaven can grant the fair!
Who trust alone in beauty's feeble ray,
Balsora's pearls have more of worth than they;
Drawn from the deep, they sparkle to the sight,
And all-unconscious shoot a lustrous light:
Such are the maids and such the charms they boast,
By sense unaided or to virtue lost.
Self-flattering sex! your hearts believe in vain
That love shall blind when once he fires the swain,
Or hope a lover by your faults to win,
As spots on ermine beautify the skin.
Who seeks secure to rule, be first her care
Each softer virtue that adorns the fair,
Each tender passion man delights to find,
The loved perfections of a female mind.
`Blest were the days when Wisdom held her reign,
And shepherds sought her on the silent plain;
With Truth she wedded in the secret grove,
The fair-eyed Truth, and daughters blessed their love.

`O haste, fair maids, ye Virtues, come away,
Sweet Peace and Plenty lead you on your way!
The balmy shrub for you shall love our shore,
By Ind excelled or Araby no more.

`Lost to our fields, for so the fates ordain,
The dear deserters shall return again.
O come thou, Modesty, as they decree,
The rose may then improve her blush by thee.
Here make thy court amidst our rural scene,
And shepherd-girls shall own thee for their queen.
With thee be Chastity, of all afraid,
Distrusting all, a wise suspicious maid,
But man the most -- not more the mountain doe
Holds the swift falcon for her deadly foe.
Cold is her breast, like flowers that drink the dew;
A silken veil conceals her from the view.
No wild desires amidst thy train be known,
But Faith, whose heart is fixed on one alone;
Desponding Meekness with her down-cast eyes,
And friendly Pity full of tender sighs;
And Love the last: by these your hearts approve,
These are the Virtues that must lead to love.'
Thus sung the swain, and eastern legends say
The maids of Bagdat verified the lay:

Dear to the plains, the Virtues came along,
The shepherds loved, and Selim blessed his song.

Eclogue The Fourth Agib

SCENE, a Mountain in Circassia TIME, Midnight

In fair Circassia, where, to love inclined,
Each swain was blest, for every maid was kind!
At that still hour, when awful midnight reigns,
And none but wretches haunt the twilight plains;
What time the moon had hung her lamp on high,
And passed in radiance through the cloudless sky:
Sad o'er the dews two brother shepherds fled,
Where wildering fear and desperate sorrow led.
Fast as they pressed their flight, behind them lay
Wide ravaged plains and valleys stole away.
Along the mountain's bending sides they ran,
Till faint and weak Secander thus began.

SECANDER

O stay thee, Agib, for my feet deny,
No longer friendly to my life, to fly.
Friend of my heart, O turn thee and survey,
Trace our sad flight through all its length of way!
And first review that long-extended plain,
And yon wide groves, already passed with pain!
Yon ragged cliff whose dangerous path we tried,
And last this lofty mountain's weary side!


AGIB

Weak as thou art, yet hapless must thou know
The toils of flight, or some severer woe!
Still as I haste, the Tartar shouts behind,
And shrieks and sorrows load the saddening wind:
In rage of heart, with ruin in his hand,
He blasts our harvests and deforms our land.
Yon citron grove, whence first in fear we came,
Droops its fair honours to the conquering flame:
Far fly the swains, like us, in deep despair,
And leave to ruffian bands their fleecy care.

SECANDER

Unhappy land, whose blessings tempt the sword,
In vain, unheard, thou call'st thy Persian Lord!
In vain thou court'st him, helpless to thine aid,
To shield the shepherd and protect the maid.
Far off in thoughtless indolence resigned,
Soft dreams of love and pleasure soothe his mind:
Midst fair sultanas lost in idle joy,
No wars alarm him and no fears annoy.

AGIB

Yet these green hills, in summer's sultry heat,
Have lent the monarch oft a cool retreat.

Sweet to the sight is Zabran's flowery plain,
And once by maids and shepherds loved in vain!
No more the virgins shall delight to rove
By Sargis' banks or Irwan's shady grove:
On Tarkie's mountain catch the cooling gale,
Or breathe the sweets of Aly's flowery vale:
Fair scenes! but ah! no more with peace possessed,
With ease alluring and with plenty blest.
No more the shepherds' whitening tents appear,
Nor the kind products of a bounteous year;
No more the date with snowy blossoms crowned,
But Ruin spreads her baleful fires around.

SECANDER

In vain Circassia boasts her spicy groves,
For ever famed for pure and happy loves;
In vain she boasts her fairest of the fair,
Their eyes' blue languish and their golden hair!
Those eyes in tears their fruitless grief must send;
Those hairs the Tartar's cruel hand shall rend.

AGIB

Ye Georgian swains that piteous learn from far
Circassia's ruin and the waste of war:

Some weightier arms than crooks and staves prepare,
To shield your harvests and defend your fair:
The Turk and Tartar like designs pursue,
Fixed to destroy and steadfast to undo.
Wild as his land, in native deserts bred,
By lust incited or by malice led,
The villain-Arab, as he prowls for prey,
Oft marks with blood and wasting flames the way;
Yet none so cruel as the Tartar foe,
To death inured and nursed in scenes of woe.

He said, when loud along the vale was heard
A shriller shriek and nearer fires appeared:
The affrighted shepherds through the dews of night,
Wide o'er the moonlight hills, renewed their flight.

Eclogue The Second Hassan

SCENE, the Desert TIME, Mid-day
10 In silent horror o'er the desert-waste
The driver Hassan with his camels passed.
One cruse of water on his back he bore,
And his light scrip contained a scanty store;
A fan of painted feathers in his hand,
To guard his shaded face from scorching sand.
The sultry sun had gained the middle sky,
And not a tree and not an herb was nigh.
The beasts with pain their dusty way pursue,
Shrill roared the winds and dreary was the view!
20 With desperate sorrow wild, the affrighted man
Thrice sighed, thrice struck his breast, and thus began:
`Sad was the hour and luckless was the day,
When first from Schiraz' walls I bent my way.
`Ah! little thought I of the blasting wind,
The thirst or pinching hunger that I find!
Bethink thee, Hassan, where shall thirst assuage,
When fails this cruse, his unrelenting rage?
Soon shall this scrip its precious load resign,
Then what but tears and hunger shall be thine?

30 `Ye mute companions of my toils, that bear
In all my griefs a more than equal share!
Here, where no springs in murmurs break away,
Or moss-crowned fountains mitigate the day,
In vain ye hope the green delights to know,
Which plains more blest or verdant vales bestow.
Here rocks alone and tasteless sands are found,
And faint and sickly winds for ever howl around.
Sad was the hour and luckless was the day,
When first from Schiraz' walls I bent my way.
40 `Cursed be the gold and silver which persuade
Weak men to follow far-fatiguing trade.
The Lily-Peace outshines the silver store,
And life is dearer than the golden ore.
Yet money tempts us o'er the desert brown,
To every distant mart and wealthy town:
Full oft we tempt the land and oft the sea;
And are we only yet repaid by thee?
Ah! why was ruin so attractive made,
Or why fond man so easily betrayed?
50 Why heed we not, whilst mad we haste along,
The gentle voice of Peace or Pleasure's song?
Or wherefore think the flowery mountain's side,
The fountain's murmurs and the valley's pride,
Why think we these less pleasing to behold
Than dreary deserts, if they lead to gold?
Sad was the hour and luckless was the day,
When first from Schiraz' walls I bent my way.
`O cease, my fears! all frantic as I go,
When thought creates unnumbered scenes of woe,

60 What if the lion in his rage I meet!
Oft in the dust I view his printed feet:
And fearful! oft, when Day's declining light
Yields her pale empire to the mourner Night,
By hunger roused, he scours the groaning plain,
Gaunt wolves and sullen tigers in his train:
Before them death with shrieks directs their way,
Fills the wild yell and leads them to their prey.
Sad was the hour and luckless was the day,
When first from Schiraz' walls I bent my way!
70 `At that dead hour the silent asp shall creep,
If aught of rest I find, upon my sleep;
Or some swoll'n serpent twist his scales around,
And wake to anguish with a burning wound.
Thrice happy they, the wise contented poor,
From lust of wealth and dread of death secure.
They tempt no deserts and no griefs they find;
Peace rules the day, where reason rules the mind.
Sad was the hour and luckless was the day,
When first from Schiraz' walls I bent my way.
80 `O hapless youth! for she thy love hath won,
The tender Zara, will be most undone!
Big swelled my heart and owned the powerful maid,
When fast she dropped her tears, as thus she said:
``Farewell the youth whom sighs could not detain,
``Whom Zara's breaking heart implored in vain;
``Yet as thou goest, may every blast arise,
``Weak and unfelt as these rejected sighs!
``Safe o'er the wild, no perils mayst thou see,
``No griefs endure, nor weep, false youth, like me.''
O let me safely to the fair return,
Say with a kiss, she must not, shall not mourn.
Go teach my heart to lose its painful fears,
Recalled by Wisdom's voice and Zara's tears.'

He said, and called on heaven to bless the day,
When back to Schiraz' walls he bent his way.

The Passions. An Ode To Music

When Music, heav'nly 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, rais'd, refin'd:
Till once, 'tis said, when all were fir'd,
Fill'd with fury, rapt, inspir'd,
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 rul'd the hour,
Would prove his own expressive pow'r.

First Fear his hand, its skill to try,
Amid the chords bewilder'd laid,
And back recoil'd, he knew not why,
Ev'n 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 woful measures wan Despair
Low sullen sounds his grief beguil'd;
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 delightful measure;
Still it whisper'd promis'd 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 thro' all the song;
And where her sweetest theme she chose,
A soft responsive voice was heard at ev'ry close,
And Hope enchanted smil'd, and wav'd 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 with'ring 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 tho' 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 diff'ring themes the veering song was mix'd,
And now it courted Love, now raving call'd on Hate.

With eyes uprais'd, as one inspir'd,
Pale Melancholy sate retir'd,
And from her wild sequester'd seat,
In notes by distance made more sweet,
Pour'd thro' the mellow horn her pensive soul:
And, dashing soft from locks around,
Bubbling runnels join'd the sound;
Thro' 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 oh, 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-ey'd queen,
Satyrs, and sylvan boys, were seen,
Peeping from forth their alleys green;
Brown Exercise rejoic'd to heal,
And Sport leapt up, and seiz'd 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 awak'ning viol,
Whose sweet entrancing voice he lov'd the best.
They would have thought, who heard the strain,
They saw in Tempe's vale her native maids
Amidst the vestal sounding shades,
To some unwearied minstrel dancing,
While, as his flying fingers kiss'd the strings,
Love fram'd 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 lov'd Athenian bow'r
You learn'd an all-commanding pow'r,
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 eider time,
Warm, energic, 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,
Ev'n all at once together found,
Cæcilia'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!

S T R O P H E.

WHO shall wake the Spartan Fife,
And call in solemn Sounds to Life,
The Youths, whose Locks divinely spreading,
Like vernal Hyacinths in sullen Hue,
At once the Breath of Fear and Virtue shedding,
Applauding Freedom, lov'd of old to view?
What New Alcæus, Fancy-blest,
Shall sing the Sword, in Myrtles drest,
At Wisdom's Shrine a-while its Flame concealing,
(What Place so fit to seal a Deed renown'd?)
Till she her brightest Lightnings round revealing,
It leap'd in Glory forth, and dealt her prompted Wound!
O Goddess, in that feeling Hour,
When most its Sounds would court thy Ears,
Let not my Shell's misguided Pow'r,
E'er draw thy sad, thy mindful Tears.
No, Freedom, no, I will not tell,
How Rome, before thy weeping Face,
With heaviest Sound, a Giant-statue, fell,
Push'd by a wild and artless Race,
From off its wide ambitious Base,
When Time his Northern Sons of Spoil awoke,
And all the blended Work of Strength and Grace,
With many a rude repeated Stroke,
And many a barb'rous Yell, to thousand Fragments broke.

E P O D E.

2.

Yet ev'n, where'er the least appear'd,
Th'admiring World thy Hand rever'd;
Still 'midst the scatter'd States around,
Some Remnants of Her Strength were found;
They saw by what escap'd the Storm,
How wond'rous rose her perfect Form;
How in the great the labour'd Whole,
Each mighty Master pour'd his Soul!
For sunny Florence, Seat of Art,
Beneath her Vines preserv'd a part,
Till They, whom Science lov'd to name,
(O who could fear it?) quench'd her Flame.
And lo, an humbler Relick laid
In jealous Pisa's Olive Shade.
See small Marino joins the Theme,
Tho' least, not last in thy Esteem:
Strike, louder strike th'ennobling Strings
To those, whose Merchant Sons were Kings;
To Him, who deck'd with pearly Pride,
In Adria weds his green-hair'd Bride;
Hail Port of Glory, Wealth, and Pleasure,
Ne'er let me change this Lydian Measure:
Nor e'er her former Pride relate,
To sad Liguria's bleeding State.
Ah no! more pleas'd thy Haunts I seek,
On wild Helvetia's Mountains bleak:
(Where, when the favor'd of thy Choice,
The daring Archer heard thy Voice;
Forth from his Eyrie rous'd in Dread,
The rav'ning Eagle northward fled.)
Or dwell in willow'd Meads more near,
With Those to whom thy Stork is dear:
Those whom the Rod of Alva bruis'd.
Whose Crown a British Queen refus'd!
The Magic works, Thou feel'st the Strains,
One holier Name alone remains;
The perfect Spell shall then avail,
Hail Nymph, ador'd by Britain, Hail!

A N T I S T R O P H E.

Beyond the Measure vast of Thought,
The Works, the Wizzard Time has Wrought!
The Gaul, 'tis held of antique Story,
Saw Britain lin'd to his now adverse Strand,
No Sea between, nor Cliff sulime and hoary,
He pass'd with unwet Feet thro' all our Land.
To the blown Baltic then, they say,
The wild Waves found another way,
Where Orcas howls, his wolfish Mountains rounding,
Till all the banded West at once 'gan rise,
A wide wild Storm ev'n Nature's self confounding,
With'ring her Giant Sons with strange uncouth Surprise.
This pillar'd Earth so firm and wide,
By Winds and inward Labors torn,
In Thunders dread was push'd aside,
And down the should'ring Billows born.
And see, like Gems, her laughing Train,
The little Isles on ev'ry side,
Mona, once hid from those who search the Main'
Where thousand Elfin Shapes abide,
And Wight who checks the west'ring Tide,
For Thee consenting Heav'n has each bestow'd,
A fair Attendant on her sov'reign Pride:
To Thee this blest Divorce she ow'd,
For thou hast made her Vales thy lov'd, thy last Abode!

S E C O N D E P O D E.

Then too, 'tis said, an hoary Pile,
'midst the green Navel of our Isle,
Thy Shrine in some religious Wood,
O Soul-enforcing Goddess stood!
There oft the painted Native's Feet,
Were wont thy Form celestial meet:
Tho' now with hopeless Toil we trace
Time's backward Rolls, to find its place;
Whether the fiery-tressed Dane,
Or Roman's self o'erturn'd the Fane,
Or in what Heav'n-left Age it fell,
[']Twere hard for modern Song to tell.
Yet still, if Truth those Beams infuse,
Which guide at once, and charm the Muse,
Beyond yon braided Cloudes that lie,
Paving the light-embroider'd Sky:
Amidst the bright pavilion'd Plains,
The beauteous Model still remains.
There happier than in Islands blest,
Or Bow'rs by Spring or Hebe drest;
The Chiefs who fill our Albion's Story,
In warlike Weeds, retir'd in Glory,
Hear their consorted Druids sing
Their Triumphs to th'immortal String.
How may the Poet now unfold,
What never Tongue or Numbers told?
How learn delighted, and amaz'd,
What Hands unknown that Fabric rais'd?
Ev'n now before his favor'd Eyes,
In Gothic Pride it seems to rise!
Yet Græcia's graceful Orders join,
Majestic thro' the mix'd Design;
The secret Builder knew to chuse,
Each sphere-found Gem of richest Hues:
Whate'er Heav'n's purer Mold contains,
When nearer Suns emblaze its Veins;
There on the Walls the Patriot's Sight,
May ever hang with fresh Delight,
And, grav'd with some Prophetic Rage,
Read Albion's Fame thro' ev'ry Age.
Ye Forms Divine, ye Laureate Band,
That near her inmost Altar stand!
Now Sooth Her, to her blissful Train
Blithe Concord's social Form to gain:
Concord, whose Myrtle Wand can steep
Ev'n Anger's blood-shot Eyes in Sleep:
Before whose breathing Bosom'd Balm,
Rage drops his Steel, and Storms grow calm;
Here let our Sires and Matrons hoar
Welcome to Britain's ravag'd Shore.
Our Youths, enamour'd of the Fair,
Play with the Tangles of her Hair,
Till in one loud applauding Sound,
The Nations shout to Her around,
O how supremely art thou blest,
Thou, Lady, Thou shalt rule the West!

An Epistle Addressed To Sir Thomas Hanmer, On His Edition Of Shakspeare's Works

WHILE, born to bring the Muse's happier days,
A patriot's hand protects a poet's lays,
While nurs'd by you she sees her myrtles bloom,
Green and unwither'd o'er his honour'd tomb;
Excuse her doubts, if yet she fears to tell
What secret transports in her bosom swell.
With conscious awe she hears the critic's fame,
And blushing hides her wreath at Shakespeare's name.
Hard was the lot those injur'd strains endur'd,
Unown'd by Science, and by years obscur'd;
Fair Fancy wept; and echoing sighs confess'd
A fixt despair in every tuneful breast.
Not with more grief the afflicted swains appear,
When wintry winds deform the plenteous year;
When ling'ring frosts the ruin'd seats invade
Where Peace resorted, and the Graces play'd.

Each rising art by just gradation moves,
Toil builds on toil and age on age improves:
The Muse alone unequal dealt her rage,
And grac'd with noblest pomp her earliest stage.
Preserv'd through time, the speaking scenes impart
Each changeful wish of Phædra's tortured heart;
Or paint the curse that mark'd the Theban's (1) reign,
A bed incestuous, and a father slain.
With kind concern our pitying eyes o'erflow;
Trace the sad tale and own another's woe.

To Rome remov'd, with wit secure to please,
The comic Sisters kept their native ease;
With jealous fear, declining Greece beheld
Her own Menander's art almost excell'd;
But every Muse essay'd to raise in vain
Some labour'd rival of her tragic strain:
Illyssus' laurels, though transferr'd with toil,
Droop'd their fair leaves, nor knew the unfriendly soil.

As Arts expir'd, resistless Dullness rose;
Goths, priests, or Vandals—all were Learning's foes,
Till Julius (2) first recall'd each exil'd maid;
And Cosmo owned them in the Etrurian shade:
Then, deeply skill'd in love's engaging theme,
The soft Provençal pass'd to Arno's stream:
With graceful ease the wanton lyre he strung;
Sweet flow'd the lays—but love was all he sung.
The gay description could not fail to move;
For, led by Nature, all are friends to love.

But Heaven, still various in its works, decreed
The perfect boast of time should last succeed.
The beauteous union must appear at length,
Of Tuscan fancy, and Athenian strength:
One greater Muse Eliza's reign adorn,
And even a Shakespeare to her fame be born!

Yet ah! so bright her morning's opening ray,
In vain our Britain hop'd an equal day!
No second growth the western isle could bear,
At once exhausted with too rich a year.
Too nicely Jonson knew the critic's part;
Nature in him was almost lost in art.
Of softer mould the gentle Fletcher came,
The next in order as the next in name.
With pleas'd attention, 'midst his scenes we find
Each glowing thought that warms the female mind;
Each melting sigh, and every tender tear;
The lover's wishes, and the virgin's fear.
His (3) every strain the Smiles and Graces own;
But stronger Shakespeare felt for man alone:
Drawn by his pen, our ruder passions stand
The unrivall'd picture of his early hand.

With (4) gradual steps and slow, exacter France
Saw Art's fair empire o'er her shores advance:
By length of toil a bright perfection knew,
Correctly bold, and just in all she drew:
Till late Corneille, with Lucan's (5) spirit fir'd,
Breath'd the free strain, as Rome and he inspir'd:
And classic judgment gain'd to sweet Racine,
The temperate strength of Maro's chaster line.

But wilder far the British laurel spread,
And wreaths less artful crown our Poet's head.
Yet he alone to every scene could give
The historian's truth, and bid the manners live.
Wak'd at his call I view, with glad surprise,
Majestic forms of mighty monarchs rise.
There Henry's trumpets spread their loud alarms;
And laurell'd Conquest waits her hero's arms.
Here gentle Edward claims a pitying sigh,
Scarce born to honours, and so soon to die!
Yet shall thy throne, unhappy infant, bring
No beam of comfort to the guilty king:
The time (6) shall come when Glo'ster's heart shall bleed,
In life's last hours, with horror of the deed;
When dreary visions shall at last present
Thy vengeful image in the midnight tent:
Thy hand unseen the secret death shall bear;
Blunt the weak sword, and break th' oppressive spear!

Where'er we turn, by Fancy charm'd, we find
Some sweet illusion of the cheated mind.
Oft, wild of wing, she calls the soul to rove
With humbler nature, in the rural grove;
Where swains contented own the quiet scene,
And twilight fairies tread the circled green:
Dress'd by her hand, the woods and valleys smile;
And Spring diffusive decks th' enchanted isle.

O more than all in powerful genius blest,
Come, take thine empire o'er the willing breast!
Whate'er the wounds this youthful heart shall feel,
Thy songs support me, and thy morals heal!
There every thought the Poet's warmth may raise;
There native music dwells in all the lays.
O might some verse with happiest skill persuade,
Expressive picture to adopt thine aid!
What wondrous draught might rise from every page!
What other Raphaels charm a distant age!

Methinks e'en now I view some free design
Where breathing Nature lives in every line;
Chaste and subdu'd the modest lights decay,
Steal into shades, and mildly melt away.
And see where Antony, (7) in tears approv'd,
Guards the pale relics of the chief he lov'd;
O'er the cold corse the warrior seems to bend,
Deep sunk in grief, and mourns his murder'd friend!
Still as they press, he calls on all around,
Lifts the torn robe, and points the bleeding wound.

But who (8) is he whose brows exalted bear
A wrath impatient and a fiercer air?
Awake to all that injur'd worth can feel,
On his own Rome he turns th' avenging steel;
Yet shall not war's insatiate fury fall
(So heaven ordains it) on the destin'd wall.
See the fond mother, 'midst the plaintive train,
Hung on his knees, and prostrate on the plain!
Touch'd to the soul, in vain he strives to hide
The son's affection, in the Roman's pride;
O'er all the man conflicting passions rise;
Rage grasps the sword, while Pity melts the eyes.

Thus generous Critic, as thy Bard inspires,
The sister Arts shall nurse their drooping fires;
Each from his scenes their stores alternate bring;
Blend the fair tint, or wake the vocal string;
Those Sibyl-leaves, the sport of every wind,
(For Poets ever were a careless kind)
By thee dispos'd, no farther toil demand,
But, just to Nature, own thy forming hand.

So spread o'er Greece, the harmonious whole unknown,
E'en Homer's numbers charmed by parts alone.
Their own Ulysses scarce had wander'd more,
By winds and waters cast on every shore:
When, rais'd by fate, some former Hanmer join'd
Each beauteous image of the boundless mind;
And bade, like thee, his Athens ever claim
A fond alliance with the Poet's name.



1 The Oedipus of Sophocles.
2 Julius II, the immediate predecessor of Leo X.
3 Their characters are thus distinguished by Mr. Dryden.
4 About the time of Shakspeare, the poet Hardy was in great repute in France. He wrote, according to Fontenelle, six hundred plays. The French poets after him applied themselves in general to the correct improvement of the stage, which was almost totally disregarded by those
of our own country, Jonson excepted.
5 The favourite author of the elder Corneille.
6 Turno tempus erit, magno cum optaverit emptum
Intactum Pallanta, &c. Virg.
7 See the Tragedy of Julius Cæsar.
8 Coriolanus. See Mr. Spence's Dialogue on the Odyssey.

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