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Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,
Frae aff its thorny tree;
fause luver staw the rose,
140. THE PROGRESS OF POESY.
A Pindaric Ode,
Awake, Aeolian lyre, awake,
A thousand rills their mazy progress take :
O Sovereign of the willing soul,
And frantic Passions hear thy soft control.
Thee the voice, the dance, obey,
Now in circling troops they meet :
Glance their many-twinkling feet. Slow melting strains their Queen's approach declare :
Where'er she turns the Graces homage pay: With arms sublime that float upon the air
In gliding state she wins her easy way : O'er her warm cheek and rising bosom move The bloom of young Desire and purple light of Love.
Man's feeble race what ills await ! Labour, and Penury, the racks of Pain, Disease, and Sorrow's weeping train,
And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate ! The fond complaint, my song, disprove, And justify the laws of Jove. Say, has he given in vain the heavenly Muse? Night, and all her sickly dews, Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry He gives to range the dreary sky : Till down the eastern cliffs afar Hyperion's march they spy, and glittering shafts of
In climes beyond the solar road Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam, The Muse has broke the twilight gloom
To cheer the shivering native's dull abode.
And oft, beneath the odorous shade
Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep,
Inspiration breathed around;
Murmur'd deep a solemn sound :
Left their Parnassus for the Latian plains.
And coward Vice, that revels in her chains. When Latium had her lofty spirit lost, They sought, O Albion ! next, thy sea-encircled coast.
Far from the sun and summer-gale
To him the mighty Mother did unveil
This can unlock the gates of Joy ;
ope the sacred source of sympathetic Tears.
Nor second He, that rode sublime Upon the seraph-wings of Ecstasy The secrets of the Abyss to spy:
He pass'd the flaming bounds of Place and Time : The living Throne, the sapphire-blaze Where Angels tremble while they gaze, He saw ; but blasted with excess of light, Closed his eyes in endless night. Behold where Dryden's less presumptuous car Wide o'er the fields of Glory bear Two coursers of ethereal race With necks in thunder clothed, and long-resounding
Hark, his hands the lyre explore !
That the Theban Eagle bear,
Thro' the azure deep of air : Yet oft before his infant
would run Such forms as glitter in the Muse's ray With orient hues, unborrow'd of the sun :
Yet shall he mount, and keep his distant way Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate: Beneath the Good how far-but far above the Great.
141. THE PASSIONS.
An Ode 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, raised, refined : 'Till once, 'tis said, when all were fired, Fill'd with fury, rapt, inspired, 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 ruled 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 woeful measures wan Despair
Low sullen sounds his grief beguiled, A solemn, strange, and mingled air,
'Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild.