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He saw ; but blasted with excess of light,
Hark, his hands the lyre explore !
That the Theban Eagle bear,
Thro' the azure deep of air :
Such forms as glitter in the Muse's ray
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.
An Ode for Music
The Passions oft, to hear her shell,
Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting,
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,
'T was sad by fits, by starts 't was wild.
But thou, O Hope, with eyes so fair,
What was thy delighted measure ? Still it whisper'd promised pleasure
And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail ! Still would her touch the strain prolong;
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale She call'd on Echo still through all the song ;
And, where her sweetest theme she chose,
A soft responsive voice was heard at every close ; And Hope enchanted smiled, and waved her golden
And longer had she sung :— but with a frown
Revenge impatient rose :
And with a withering look
And ever and anon he beat
The doubling drum with furious heat ; And, though sometimes, each dreary pause between,
Dejected Pity at his side
Her soul-subduing voice applied, Yet still he kept his wild unalter'd mien, While each strain’d ball of sight seem'd bursting from
Thy numbers, Jealousy, to nought were fix'd :
Sad proof of thy distressful state !
And now it courted Love, now raving call'd on Hate.
With eyes up-raised, as one inspired,
And dashing soft from rocks around
Bubbling runnels join’d the sound; Through glades and glooms the mingled measure stole,
Or, o'er some haunted stream, with fond delay,
Round an holy calm diffusing,
Love of peace, and lonely musing,
Her bow across her shoulder flung,
Her buskins gemm'd with morning dew,
The hunter's call to Faun and Dryad known !
Satyrs and Sylvan Boys were seen
Peeping from forth their alleys green: Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear;
And Sport leap'd up, and seized his beechen spear.
Last came Joy's ecstatic trial :
First to the lively pipe his hand addrest :
Whose sweet entrancing voice he loved the best : They would have thought who heard the strain
They saw, in Tempe's vale, her native maids
Amidst the festal-sounding shades
Love framed with Mirth a gay fantastic round :
As if he would the charming air repay,
O Music ! sphere-descended maid,
Why, goddess, why, to us denied,
ODE ON THE SPRING
O! where the rosy-bosom'd Hours
Disclose the long-expecting flowers
And wake the purple year !