"Thou, therefore (as the most afflicted may),
Still hope, and triumph o'er thy evil day!
Look forth, expecting happier times to come,
And to enjoy, once more, thy native home!"

Elegv v.



Time, never wandering from his annual round, Bids Zephyr breathe the Spring, and thaw the ground;Bleak Winter flies, new verdure clothes the plain, And Earth assumes her transient youth again. Dream I, or also to the Spring belong Increase of genius, and new powers of song?Spring gives them, and, how strange soe'er it seems, Impels me now to some harmonious themes. Castalia's fountain and the forked hill.

By day, by night, my raptured fancy fill;

My bosom burns and heaves, I hear within

A sacred sound that prompts me to begin.

Lo, Phcebus comes! with his bright hair he blends

The radiant laurel wreath; Phcebus descends:

I mount, and undepressed by cumbrous clay

Through cloudy regions win my easy way;

Rapt, through poetic shadowy haunts I fly;

The shrines all open to my dauntless eye,

My spirit searches all the realms of light,

And no Tartarean gulfs elude my sight.

But this ecstatic trance—this glorious storm

Of inspiration—what will it perform?

Spring claims the verse, that with his influence glows,

And shall be paid with what himself bestows.

Thou, veiled with opening foliage, lead'st the throng Of feathered minstrels, Philomel! in song; Let us, in concert, to the season sing, Civic and sylvan heralds of the Spring!

With notes triumphant Spring's approach declare! To Spring, ye Muses, annual tribute bear! The Orient left and /Ethiopia's plains, The Sun now northward turns his golden reins; Night creeps not now, yet rules with gentle sway, And drives her dusky horrors swift away; Now less fatigued, on this ethereal plain Bootes follows his celestial wain; And now the radiant sentinels above, Less numerous, watch around the courts of Jove.

For, with the night, force, ambush, slaughter fly,

And no gigantic guilt alarms the sky.

Now haply says some shepherd, while he views,

Recumbent on a rock, the reddening dews,

This night, this surely, Phcebus missed the Fair,

Who stops his chariot by her amorous care.

Cynthia, delighted by the morning's glow,

Speeds to the woodland, and resumes her bow;

Resigns her beams, and, glad to disappear,

Blesses his aid who shortens her career.

Come—Phcebus cries—Aurora come—too late

Thou lingerest, slumbering, with thy withered mate!

Leave him, and to Hymettus' top repair!

Thy darling Cephalus expects thee there.

The goddess, with a blush, her love betrays,

But mounts, and, driving rapidly, obeys.

Earth now desires thee, Phcebus! and to engage

Thy warm embrace, casts off the guise of age;

Desires thee, and deserves; for who so sweet,

When her rich bosom courts thy genial heat?

Her breath imparts to every breeze that blows

Arabia's harvest, and the Paphian rose.

Her lofly fronts she diadems around

With sacred pines, like Ops on Ida crowned;

Her dewy locks with various flowers new-blown

She interweaves, various, and all her own,

For Proserpine, in such a wreath attired,

Tamarian Dis himself with love inspired.

Fear not, lest, cold and coy, the nymph refuse!

1 lerself, with all her sighing Zephyrs, sues;

Each courts thee, fanning soft his scented wing,

And all her groves with warbled wishes ring.

Nor, unendowed and indigent, aspires

The amorous Earth to engage thy warm desires,

But, rich in balmy drugs, assists thy claim,

Divine Physician! to that glorious name.

If splendid recompense, if gifts can move

Desire in thee (gifts often purchase love),

She offers all the wealth her mountains hide,

And all that rests beneath the boundless tide.

I low oft, when headlong from the heavenly steep

She sees thee playing in the western deep*

I low oft she cries—" Ah Phcebus! why repair

Thy wasted force, why seek refreshment there?

Can Tethys win thee? wherefore shouldst thou lave

A face so fair in her unpleasant wave?

Come, seek my green retreats, and rather chuse

To cool thy tresses in my crystal dews,

The grassy turf shall yield thee sweeter rest;

Come, lay thy evening glories on my breast,

And breathing fresh, through many a humid rose,

Soft whispering airs shall lull thee to repose!

No fears I feel lite Semcle to die,
Nor lest thy burning wheels approach too nigh,—
For thou canst govern them; here therefore rest,
And lay thy evening glories on my breast!"

Thus breathes the wanton Earth her amorous flame,
And all her countless offspring feel the same;For Cupid now through every region strays,
Brightening his faded fires with solar rays;His new-strung bow sends forth a deadlier sound,
And his new-pointed shafts more deeply wound; 100
Nor Dian's self escapes him now untried,
Nor even Vesta at her altar-side;His mother too repairs her beauty's wane,
And seems sprung newly from the deep again.
Exulting youths the Hymeneal sing,
With Hymen's name roofs, rocks, and valleys ring;
He, new-attired, and by the season drest,
Proceeds, all fragrant, in his saffron vest.
Now, many a golden-cinctured virgin roves
To taste the pleasures of the fields and groves; no
All wish, and each alike, some favourite youth
Hers, in the bonds of Hymeneal truth.
Now pipes the shepherd through his reeds again,
Nor Phillis wants a song that suits the strain;With songs the seaman hails the starry sphere,
And dolphins rise from the abyss to hear;Jove feels himself the season, sports again
With his fair spouse, and banquets all his train.
Now too the Satyrs, in the dusk of eve, Their mazy dance through flowery meadows weave, 120
And neither god nor goat, but both in kind,
Silvanus, wreathed with cypress, skips behind.
The Dryads leave their hollow sylvan cells
To roam the banks and solitary dells;Pan riots now, and from his amorous chafe
Ceres and Cybele seem hardly safe;And Faunus, all on fire to reach the prize,
In chase of some enticing Oread flies;She bounds before, but fears too swift a bound,
And hidden lies, but wishes to be found. 130 Our shades entice the Immortals from above,
And some kind power presides o'er every grove;And long, ye Powers, o'er every grove preside,
For all is safe and blest, where ye abide!Return, O Jove! the age of gold restore-
Why choose to dwell where storms and thunder roar?
At least, thou, Phcebus ! moderate thy speed!Let not the vernal hours too swift proceed,
Command rough Winter back, nor yield the pole
Too soon to Night's encroaching, long control! 140



Who, while he spent his Christmas in the country, sent the Author a poetical Epistle, in which he requested that his verses, if not so good as usual, might be excused on account of the many feasts to which his friends had invited him, and which would not allow him leisure to finish them as he wished.

With no rich viands overcharged, I send

Health, which perchance you want, my pampered friend;

But wherefore should thy muse tempt mine away

From what she loves, from darkness into day?

Art thou desirous to be told how well

I love thee, and in verse? verse cannot tell,

For verse has bounds, and must in measure move

But neither bounds nor measure knows my love. •

How pleasant, in thy lines described, appear

December's harmless sports, and rural cheer! 10

French spirits kindling with caerulean fires,

And all such gambols as the time inspires!

Think not that wine against good verse offends l
The Muse and Bacchus have been always friends,
Nor Phcebus blushes sometimes to be found
With ivy, rather than with laurel, crowned.
The Nine themselves ofttimes have joined the song
And revels of the Bacchanalian throng;
Not even Ovid could in Scythian air

Sing sweetly—why? no vine would flourish there, 20 What in brief numbers sung Anacreon's muse?Wine, and the rose, that sparkling wine bedews. Pindar with Bacchus glows—his every line Breathes the rich fragrance of inspiring wine, While, with loud crash o'erturned, the chariot lies And brown with dust the fiery courser flies. The Roman lyrist steeped in wine his lays, So sweet in Glycera's and Chloe's praise. Now too the plenteous feast and mantling bowl Nourish the vigour of thy sprightly soul; 30 The flowing goblet makes thy numbers flow, And casks not wine alone, but verse bestow. Thus Phcebus favours, and the arts attend, Whom Bacchus, and whom Ceres, both befriend:What wonder, then, thy verses are so sweet, In which these triple powers so kindly meet?The lute now also sounds, with gold inwrought, And touched with flying fingers, nicely taught;In tapestried halls, high-roofed, the sprightly lyre Directs the dancers of the virgin choir. 40

If dull repletion fright the muse away, Sights, gay as these, may more invite her stay:

And, trust me, while the ivory keys resound,
Fair damsels sport, and perfumes steam around,
Apollo's influence, like ethereal flame,
Shall animate, at once, thy glowing frame,
And all the Muse shall rush into thy breast,
By love and music's blended powers possest.
For numerous powers light Elegy befriend,
Hear her sweet voice, and at her call attend;
Her Bacchus, Ceres, Venus, all approve,
And, with his blushing mother, gentle Love.
Hence to such bards we grant the copious use
Of banquets, and the vine's delicious juice.
But they, who demi-gods and heroes praise,
And feats performed in Jove's more youthful days,
Who now the counsels of high heaven explore,
Now shades, that echo the Cerberean roar,
Simply let these, like him of Samos, live; .Let herbs to them a bloodless banquet give;
In beechen goblets let their beverage shine,
Cool from the crystal spring, their sober wine!Their youth should pass in innocence, secure
From stain licentious, and in manners pure,
Pure as the priest, when robed in white he stands,
The fresh lustration ready in his hands.
Thus Linus lived, and thus, as poets write,
Tiresias, wiser for his loss of sight;Thus exiled Chalcas, thus the bard of Thrace,
Melodious tamer of the savage race;
Thus, trained by temperance, Homer led, of yore,
His chief of Ithaca from shore to shore,
Through magic Circe's monster-peopled reign,
And shoals insidious with the Siren train;And through the realms where grizly spectres dwell,
Whose tribes he fettered in a gory spell:For these are sacred bards, and, from above,
Drink large infusions from the mind of Jove.

Wouldst thou, (perhaps 'tis hardly worth thine ear)
Wouldst thou be told my occupation here?
The promised King of peace employs my pen,
The eternal covenant made for guilty men,
The new-born Deity with infant cries
Filling the sordid hovel, where he lies;
The hymning Angels, and the herald star,
That led the Wise, who sought him from afar,
And idols on their own unhallowed shore
Dashed, at his birth, to be revered no more!

This theme on reeds of Albion I rehearse:
The dawn of that blest day inspired the verse;
Verse that, reserved in secret, shall attend
Thy candid voice, my critic, and my friend!

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