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Sense of past guilt, and dread of future wo.
Far be the ghastly crew! And in their stead
Let cheerful Memory from her purest cells
Lead forth a goodly-train of Virtues-fair,
Cherish'd in earliest youth, now paying back
With tenfold usury the pious care,
And pouring o'er my wounds the heavenly balm
Of conscious innocence. But chiefly, Thou,
Whom soft-ey'd Pity.once led down from Heav'n,
To bleed for man, to teach him how to live,
And, oh! still harder lesson ! how to die :
Disdain not Thou to-smooth the restless bed
Of Sickness and of Pain. Forgive the tear
That feeble Nature drops, calm all her fears,
Wake all her hopes, and animate her faith,
Till my wrapt soul anticipating Heaven,
Bursts from the thraldom of incumbering clay,
And on the wing of Ecstacy upborne,
Springs into Liberty, and Light, and Life.
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, rais'd, refin'd;
Till once, 'tis said, when all were fir'd,
Fill'd with fury, wrapt, 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 ruld 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 woful measures, wan Despair,
Low sullen sounds, his grief beguild; 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 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 through all the song.
And where her sweetest theme she chose,
A soft responsive voice was heard at every close, And Hope enchanted smil'd, and way!d her golden
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 wo.
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 be kept his wild unalter'd mien; While each strain'd ball of sight seem'd bursting from
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 call’d on
With eyes uprais'd, as one inspir'd,
Pale Melancholy sat retird,
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; Thro’glades and glooms the mingled measure stole, Or o'er some haunted streams with fond delay,
Round an holy calm diffusing,
Love of peace, and lonely musing, In hollow murmurs died away.
But, O! how altered 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 aspiring air, that dale and thicket rung,
The hunter's call, to Faun and Diyad known;
The oak-crownd sisters, and their chaste-ey'd
queen, Satyrs and sylvan boys were seen
Peeping from forth their alleys green; Brown Exercise rejoic'd to hear,
And Sport leap'd 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 address'd,
But soon he saw the brisk awakening 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 festal 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 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, energetic, 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,