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Till meddling art's officious lore
Reverse the lessons taught before,
Alluring from a safer rule,
To dream in her enchanted school;
Thou, Heaven, 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 maid 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 favour'd isle alone:
Me too amidst thy band admit,
There where the young-ey'd 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, t whose knight's distinguish'd name,
Refind a nation's lust of fame;
Whose tales ev'n now, with echoes sweet,
Castilia's Moorish hills repeat:
Or him, I whom Seine's blue nymphs deplore,
In watchet weeds on Gallia’s shore,
* Alluding to the Milesian tales, some of the earliest romances. + Cervar tes.
* Monsieur Le Sage, author of the incomparable adventures of Gil Blas de Santillane, who died in Paris in the year 1745.
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
You rove thy scene-full world with thee !
AN ODB FOR MUSIC,
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, 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 power.
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 woeful measures wan Despair
Low sullen sounds his grief beguilid,
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 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 withering 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 though 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 differing themes the veering song was mix'd,
And now it courted Love, now raving called on
With eyes up rais'd, as one inspir'd,
Pale Melancholy sat retir’d,
And from her wild sequester'd seat,
In notes by distance made more sweet,
Pour'd through the ineilow horn her pensive soul :
And dashing soft from rocks around,
Bubbling runnels join'd the sound; Through 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 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 hunters 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 hear, :
And Sport leapt up, and seiz'd his beechen spear.
Last came Joy's ecstatic trial,
He, with viney crown advancing,
First to the lively pipe his hand addrest,
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 in all-commanding power,
Thy mimic soul, O nymph endear'd,
Can well recal 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,
Had more of strength, diviner rage,
Than all which charms this laggard age,
Ev'n all at once together found
Cecilia'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!
DIRGE IN CYMBELINE. Sung by Guiderus and Arviragus over Fidele, supposed
to be dead.
To fair Fidele’s grassy tomb
Soft maids and village hinds shall bring
Each opening sweet, of earliest bloom,
And rifle all the breathing spring.
No wailing ghost shall dare appear
To vex with shrieks this quiet grove,
But shepherd lads assemble here,
And melting virgins own their love.
No wither'd witch shall here be seen,
No goblins lead their nightly crew;
The female fays shall haunt the green,
And dress thy grave with pearly dew;
The red-breast oft at evening hours
Shall kindly lend his little aid,
With hoary moss, and gather'd flowers,
To deck the ground where thou art laid.
When howling winds, and beating rain,
In tempests shake thy sylvan cell;
Or midst the chase on every plain, se
The tender thought on thee shall dwell.