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Lo, in the Vale of Years beneath
A grisly troop are seen,
More hideous than their Queen:
Those in the deeper vitals rage :
And slow-consuming Age.
To each his sufferings : all are men,
Condemn'd alike to groan ;
The' unfeeling for his own.
And happiness too swiftly dies?
'Tis folly to be wise.
σαντα, τω παθει μαθαν
ÆSCHYLUS, in Agamemnonc.
DAUGHTER of Jove, relentless power,
Thou tamer of the human breast, Whose iron scourge and torturing hour
The bad affright, afflict the best!
Bound in thy adamantine chain,
And purple tyrants vainly groan,
When first thy sire to send on earth
Virtue, his darling child, design'd,
And bade to form her infant mind.
What sorrow was, thou bad'st her know,
Scard at thy frown terrific, fly
Self-pleasing Folly's idle brood,
And leave us leisure to be good.
The summer friend, the flattering foe;
By vain Prosperity receiv'd, To her they vow their truth, and are again believ'd.
Wisdom in sable garb array'd,
Immers'd in rapturous thought profound,
With leaden eye that loves the ground,
With Justice, to herself severe,
Oh, gently on thy suppliant's head,
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: * Awake, my glory: awake, lute and harp -David's Psalms. Piudar styles his own poetry, with its musical accompaniments, Αιολις μολπη Αιολιδες χορδαι, Αιολιδων ονοαι, 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 Pindar.
+ 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 bluom of young Desire 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 θηιτο σοδων θαυμαζε δε θυμω.
Homer, Od.. + Δαμπα δ' επι πορφυρεησι
Παρησι φως ερωτG. Phrynicus apud Athenaeum.
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.