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Not in thy Gorgon terrors clad,
Not circled with the vengeful band (As by the impious thou art seen) With thundering voice, and threatening mien,
With screaming Horror's funeral cry,
Thy milder influence impart,
To soften, not to wound my heart. The generous spark extinct revive, Teach me to love, and to forgive,
Exact my own defects to scan, What others are to feel, and know myself a man.
TAE PROGRESS OF POESY.
A PINDAKIC ODE.
Φωγαντα συνετοισιν ες
PINDAR, Olymp. II.
A thousand rills their mazy progress take :
Pindar styles his own poetry, with its musical accompaniinents, Λιολις μολπη Αιολιδες χορδαι, Αιολιδων ανοαι, αυλων, Eolian song, Æolian strings, the breath of the Æolian flute.
The subject and simile, as usual with Pindar, are here united.
The laughing flowers, that round them blow,
(roar. The rocks and nodding groves re-bellow to the
Oh! Sovereign of the willing soul,* Parent of sweet and solemn-breathing airs, Enchanting shell ! the sullen Cares
And frantic Passions hear thy soft control., On Thracia's hills the Lord of War Has curb'd the fury of his car, And drop'd his thirsty lance at thy command. Perching on the sceptred handt Of Jove, thy magic lulls the feather'd king With ruffled plumes and flagging wind : Quench'd in dark clouds of slumber lie The terror of his beak, and lightnings of his eye.
The various sources of poetry, which give life and lustre to all it touches, are here described ; as well in its quiet majestic progress enriching every subject (otherwise dry and barren) with all the pomp of diction, and luxuriant harmony of numbers, as in its more rapid and irresistible course, when swoln and hurried away by the conflict of tumultuous passions.
• Power of harmony to calm the turbulent passions of the soul. The thoughts are borrowed from the first Pythian of Pin. dar.
+ This is a weak imitation of some beautiful lines in the same ode,
Now pursuing, now retreating,
Now in circling troops they meet : To brisk notes in cadence beating,
Glance their many twinkling feet.f Slow melting strains theirQueen's approach declare:
Where'er she turns the Graces homage pay With arms sublime, that float upon the air,
In gliding state she wins her easy way : O'er her warm cheek, and rising bosom, move The bloom of youngDesire and purple light of Love.
Man's feeble race what ills await! Labour, and Penury, the racks of Pain, Disease, and Sorrow's weeping train,
And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate !
• Power of harmony to produce all the graces of motion in the body. 1 Μαρμαρυγας θητο σοδων θαυμαζε δε θυμω.
Homer, Od.. + Δαμπυ δ' επι πορφυρεησι Tlagunci poos egara. Phrynicus apud Athenæum.
To compensate the real or imaginary ills of life, the Muse was given us by the same Providence that sends the day, by its cheerful presence, to dispel the gloom and terrors of the night.
The fond complaint, my song, disprove,
[war. Hyperion's march they spy, and glittering shafts of
tin climes beyond the solar road, Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam, The Muse has broke the twilight-gloom
To cheer the shivering Native's dull abode. And oft, beneath the od’rous shade Of Chili's boundless forests laid, She deigns to hear the savage Youth repeat In loose numbers wildly sweet Their feather-cinctur'd Chief, and dusky Loves. Her track, where'er the Goddess roves, Glory pursue, and generous Shame, [flame. The' unconquerable Mind, and Freedom's holy
Woods, that wave o’er Delphi's steep,$ Isles, that crown the Ægean deep,
• Or seen the morning's well-appointed star
Come marching up the eastern bilis afar. Cowley. + Extensive influence of poetic genius over the remotest and most uncivilized nations: its connection with liberty, and the virtues that naturally attend on it. 1'Extra anni solisque vias
Petrarch, Canzon. 2.
Fields, that cool Ilissus laves,
Or where Mæander's amber waves In lingering lab’rinths creep,
How do your tuneful Echoes languish,
Mute but to the voice of Anguish ! Where each old poetic Mountain
Inspiration breath'd around ;
Murmur'd deep a solemn sound:
Left their Parnassus for the Latian plains.
And coward Vice, that revels in her chains. When Latium had her lofty spirit lost, They sought, oh Albion ! next, thy sea-encircled
To him the mighty Mother did unveil
England. Chaucer was not unacquainted with the writings of Dante or of Petrarch. The Earl of Surrey and Sir Thomas Wyat had travelled in Italy, and formed their taste there. Spen. ser imitated the Italian writers, and Milton improved on them; but this school expired soon after the Restoration, and a new one arose on the French model, which has subsisted ever since.