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Is doom'd to sour its sweets, and dash his cup with gall.
Before the husband's and the father's eyes
Stormy clouds in prospect rise,
The future orphan's cry, the widow's groan;
These and more he makes his own-
For ah! the faithless world by him too well is known.
For these the homely robe, the scanty board,
While life in toil is ling'ring on,
The drudge of science may afford :
But where's the friend will cheer, when that poor life is gone?
No friend may rise, but many a foe
Will deck his visage with a smile,
Will hide in softest words the basest guile,
And, while he soothes the most, will strike the deepest blow.
Hence the pang, and hence the tear,
When his daughter's rip'ning bloom
Swells into agony his fear
Of the fell spoiler's den-fair Virtue's early tomb.
LED by the Muse, my step pervades
The sacred haunts, the peaceful shades
Where Art and Sculpture reign:
I see, I see, at their command,
The living stones in order stand,
And marble breathe through every vein!
Time breaks his hostile scythe; he sighs
To find his pow'r malignant fled;
“And what avails my dart," he cries,
"Since these can animate the dead?
"Since wak'd to mimic life again in stone "The patriot seems to speak, the hero frown.”
There Virtue's silent train are seen,
Fast fix'd their looks, erect their mien.
Lo! while with more than stoic soul,
The Attic sage exhausts the bowl,
A pale suffusion shades his eyes,
'Till by degrees the marble dies!
See there the injur'd Poet bleed!
Ah! see he droops his languid head !
What starting nerves, what dying pain,
What horror freezes every vein !
These are thy works, O Sculpture! thine to shew In rugged rock a feeling sense of woe.
Yet not alone such themes demand
The Phidian stroke, the Daedal hand;
I view with melting eyes
A softer scene of grief display'd,
While from her breast the duteous maid
Her infant sire with food supplies.
In pitying stone she weeps, to see
His squalid hair, and galling chains:
And trembling, on her bended knee,
His hoary head her hand sustains ;
While every look and sorrowing feature prove
How soft her breast, how great her filial love.
Lo! there the wild Assyrian queen,
With threat'ning brow, and frantic mien l
Revenge! revenge! the marble cries,
While fury sparkles in her eyes.
Thus was her awful form beheld,
When Babylon's proud sons rebell'd;
She left the woman's vainer care,
And flew with loose dishevell'd hair;
She stretch'd her hand, imbru'd in blood,
While pale Sedition trembling stood;
In sudden silence, the mad crowd obey'd
Her awful voice, and Stygian Discord fled!
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."