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Rich the treasure,
Sweet the pleasure,
Sweet is pleasure after pain.

Soothed with the sound, the king grew vain;
Fought all his battles o'er again,
And thrice he routed all his foes, and thrice he slew

the slain !
The master saw the madness rise,
His glowing cheeks, his ardent eyes;
And while he Heaven and Earth defied
Changed his hand and check'd his pride.
He chose a mournful Muse
Soft pity to infuse :
He sung Darius great and good,
By too severe a fate
Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen,
Fallen from his high estate,
And weltering in his blood;
Deserted, at his utmost need,
By those his former bounty fed ;
On the bare earth exposed he lies
With not a friend to close his eyes.
-With downcast looks the joyless victor sate,
Revolving in his alter'd soul
The various turns of Chance below;
And now and then a sigh he stole,
And tears began to flow.

The mighty master smiled to see
That love was in the next degree ;
'Twas but a kirdred-sound to move,
For pity melts the mind to love.
Softly sweet, in Lydian measures
Soon he soothed his soul to pleasures.

War, he sung, is toil and trouble,
Honour but an empty bubble,
Never ending, still beginning ;
Fighting still, and still destroying ;
If the world be worth thy winning,
Think, O think, it worth enjoying :
Lovely Thais sits beside thee,
Take the good the gods provide thee!
-The many rend the skies with loud applause ;
So Love was crown'd, but Music won the cause.
The prince, unable to conceal his pain,
Gazed on the fair
Who caused his care,
And sigh'd and look'd, sigh'd and look'd,
Sigh'd and look'd, and sigh'd again :
At length with love and wine at once opprest
The vanquish'd victor sunk upon her breast.

Now strike the golden lyre again : A louder yet, and yet a louder strain ! Break his bands of sleep asunder And rouse him like a rattling peal of thunder. Hark, hark! the horrid sound Has raised up his head : As awaked from the dead And amazed he stares around. Revenge, revenge, Timotheus cries, See the Furies arise ! See the snakes that they rear How they hiss in their hair, And the sparkles that flash from their eyes ! Behold a ghastly band Each a torch in his hand ! Those are Grecian ghosts, that in battle were slain And unburied remain Inglorious on the plain :

I

Give the vengeance due
To the valiant crew !
Behold how they toss their torches on high,
How they point to the Persian abodes
And glittering temples of their hostile gods.
-The princes applaud with a furious joy:
And the King seized a flambeau with zeal to destroy ;
Thais led the way
To light him to his prey,
And like another Helen, fired another Troy !

-Thus, long ago,
Ere heaving bellows learn'd to blow,
While organs yet were mute,
Timotheus, to his breathing flute
And sounding lyre
Could swell the soul to rage, or kindle soft desire.
At last divine Cecilia came,
Inventress of the vocal frame;
The sweet enthusiast from her sacred store
Enlarged the former narrow bounds,
And added length to solemn sounds,
With Nature's mother-wit, and arts unknown betore.
-Let old Timotheus yield the prize
Or both divide the crown ;
He raised a mortal to the skies ;
She drew an angel dowa i

1. DRYDEN.

THIRD BOOK.

SUMMARY.

It is more difficult to characterise the English Poetry of the eighteenth century than that of any other. For it was an age not only of spontaneous transition, but of bold experiment: it includes not only such divergences of thought as distinguished the “Rape of the Lock" from the “Parish Register," but such vast contemporaneous differences as lie between Pope and Collins, Burns and Cowper. Yet we may clearly trace three leading moods or tendencies :—the aspects of courtly or educated life represented by Pope and carried to exhaustion by his followers; the poetry of Nature and of Man, viewed through a cultivated, and at the same time an impassioned frame of mind by Collins and Gray : lastly, the study of vivid and simple narrative, including natural description, begun by Gay and Thomson, pursued by Burns and others in the north, and established in England by Goldsmith, Percy, Crabbe, and Cowper. Great varieties in style accompanied these diversities in aim : poets could not always distinguish the manner suitable for subjects so far apart; and the union of the language of courtly and of common life, exhibited most conspicuously by Burns, has given a tone to the poetry of that century which is better explained by reference to its historical origin than by naming it, in the common criticism of our day, artificial. There is again, a nobleness of thought, a courageous aim at high and, in a strict sense manly, excellence in many of the writers : -nor can that period be justly termed tame and wanting in originality, which produced poems such as Pope's Satires, Gray's Odes and Elegy, the ballads of Gay and Carey, the songs of Burns and Cowper. In truth Poetry

at this as at all times was a more or less unconscious mirror of the genius of the age; and the brave and admirable spirit of Enquiry which made the eighteenth century the turning-time in European civilisation is reflected faithfully in its verse. An intelligent reader will find the influence of Newton as markedly in the poems of Pope, as of Elizabeth in the plays of Shakespeare. On this great subject, however, these indications must here be sufficient.

117. ODE ON THE PLEASURE ARISING

FROM VICISSITUDE.

Now the golden Moro aloft

Waves her dew-bespangled wing,
With vermeil cheek and whisper soft

She woos the tardy Spring :
Till April starts, and calls around
The sleeping fragrance from the ground,
And lightly o'er the living scene
Scatters his freshest, tenderest green,

New-born flocks, in rustic dance,

Frisking ply their feeble feet ;
Forgetful of their wintry trance

The birds his presence greet :
But chief, the sky-lark warbles high
His trembling thrilling ecstasy ;
And lessening from the dazzled sight,
Melts into air and liquid light.

Yesterday the sullen year

Saw the snowy whirlwind fly ;
Mute was the music of the air,

The herd stood drooping by :

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