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The praise of Bacchus then the sweet musician sung: Of Bacchus ever fair and ever young : The jolly god in triumph comes ! Sound the trumpets, beat the drums ! Flush'd with a purple grace He shows his honest face : Now give the hautboys breath; he comes, he comes ! Bacchus, ever fair and young, Drinking joys did first ordain ; Bacchus' blessings are a treasure, Drinking is the soldier's pleasure : 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; ’T was but a kindred 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 :
Give the vengeance
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 ( nthusiast from her sacred store
Enlarged the former narrow bounds,
And added length to solemn sounds,
With Nature's mother-wit, and arts unknown before.
- Let old Timotheus yield the prize
Or both divide the crown;
He raised a mortal to the skies;
She drew an angel down !
JOw the golden Morn 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.