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With hope, or fear, or love, by turns,
The marble leaps, or shrinks, or burns,
As Sculpture waves her hand;
The varying passions of the mind
Her faithful handmaids are assign’d,
And rise and fall by her command.
When now life's wasted lamps expire,
When sinks to dust this mortal frame,
She, like Prometheus, grasps the fire;
Her touch revives the lambent flame;
While, phoenix - like, the statesman, bard, or sage,
Spring fresh to life, and breathe through every age.
Hence, where the organ full and clear,
With loud hosannas charms the ear,
Behold (a prism within his hands)
Absorb’d in thought, great NEWTON stands;
Such was his solemn wonted state,
His serious brow, and musing gait,
When, taught on eagle-wings to fly,
He trac'd the wonders of the sky;
The chambers of the sun explor'd,
Where tints of thousand hues are stor'd;
Whence every flower in painted robes is drest,
And varying Iris steals her gaudy vest.
Here, as Devotion, heavenly queen,
Conducts her best, her fav’rite train,
At Newton's shrine they bow!
And, while with raptur'd eyes they gaze,
With Virtue's purest vestal rays,
Behold their ardent bosoms glow!
Hail, mighty Mind ! hail, awful name!
I feel inspir'd my lab’ring breast; And lo! I pant, I burn for fame!
Come, Science, bright etheral guest,
Oh come, and lead thy meanest humblest son,
Through Wisdom's arduous paths to fair renown.
Could I to one faint ray aspire,
One spark of that celestial fire,
The leading cynosure, that glow'd
While Smith explor'd the dark abode,
Where Wisdom sate on Nature's shrine,
How great my boast! what praise were mine!
Illustrious sage! who first couldst tell
Wherein the powers of Music dwell;
And every magic chain untie,
That binds the soul of Harmony!
To thee, when mould'ring in the dust,
To thee shall swell the breathing bust : Shall here (for his reward thy merits claim) “ Stand next to place in Newton, as in fame.”
Come, musing Silence, nor refuse to shed
Thy sober influence o'er this darkling cell :
The desert waste and lonely plain
Could ne'er confine thy peaceful reign ;
Nor dost thou only love to dwell
'Mid the dark mansions of the vaulted dead:
For still at eve's serenest hour
All Nature owns thy soothing power :
Oft hast thou deign'd with me to rove,
Beneath the calm sequester'd grove ;
Oft deign’d my sacred steps to lead
Along the dewy pathless mead;
Or up the dusky lawn, to spy
The last faint gleamings of the twilight sky.
Then wilt thou still thy pensive vot’ry meet,
Oft as he calls thee to this gloomy seat ;
For here, with solemn' mystic rite,
Wert thou invok'd to consecrate the ground, Ere these rude walls were rear'd remote from sight,
Orere with moss this shaggy roof was crown'd.
Hail! blessed parent of each purer thought,
That doth at once the heart exalt and mend !
Here wilt thou never fail to find
My vacant solitude inclin'd
Thy serious lessons to attend.
For they I ween shall be with goodness fraught,
Whether thou bid me meditate
On man, in untaught Nature's state ;
How far this life he 'ought to prize ;
How far its transient scenes despise ;
What heights his reason may attain,
And where its proud attempts are vain;
What toils his virtue ought to brave,
For Hope's rewarding joys beyond the grave :
Or if in man redeem'd you bid me trace
Each wondrous proof of Heaven's transcendent grace;
Then breathe some sparks of that celestial fire,
Which in the raptur'd seraph glows above, Where sainted myriads crowd the joyful choir,
And harp their praises round the throne of love. The trifling sons of Levity and Pride Hence shall thy awful seriousness exclude;
Nor shall loud Riot's thoughtless train
With frantic mirth this grot profane. No foe to peace shall here intrude.
For thou wilt kindly bid each sound subside,
Save such as soothe the list’ning sense,
And serves to aid thy influence :
Save where, soft-breathing o'er the plain,
Mild Zephyr waves the rustling grain ;
Or where some stream, from rocky source,
Slow trickles down its ceaseless course ;
Or where the sea's imperfect roar
Comes gently murm’ring from the distant shore.
But most in Philomel, sweet bird of night,
In plaintive Philomel, is thy delight:
For she, or studious to prolong her grief,
Or oft to vary her exhaustless lay,
With frequent pause, from thee shall seek relief,
Nor close her strain, till dawns the noisy day.
Without thy aid, to happier tasteful art,
No deep instructive science could prevail :
For only where thou dost preside,
Can wit's inventive powers be tried ;
And reason's better task would fail,
Did not thy haunts the serious theme impart.
The critic, that with plodding head,
Toils o'er the learning of the dead;
The cloister'd hermit that explores,
By midnight lamp, religion's stores;
Each sage that marks with thoughtful gaze,
The lunar orb or planet's maze !
And every bard, that strays along
The sylvan shade, intent on sacred song;