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Submiss I honor every sacred name,
Deep in the column grav'd of adamantine fame.
But cease, my Muse, with tender wing,
Unfledg'd, ethereal flight to dare,
Stern Cato's bold discourse to sing,
Or paint immortal Brutus' air;
May Britain ne'er the weight of slav'ry feel ;
Or bid a Brutus shake for her his crimson steel!
Lol yonder negligently laid
Fast by the stream's impurpled side,
Where through the thick-entangled shade,
The radiant waves of nectar glide,
Each sacred Poet strikes his tuneful lyre,
And wakes the ravish'd heart, and bids the soul aspire.
No more is heard the plaintive strain,
Or pleasing Melancholy's song,
Tibullus here forgets his pain,
And joins the love-exulting throng :
For Cupid flutters round with golden dart,
And fiercely twangs his bow at every rebel heart.
There stretch'd at ease Anacreon gay
And on his melting Lesbia's breast,
With eye half-rais'd, Catullus lay,
And gaz'd himself to balmy rest :
While Venus' self through all the am'rous groves
With kisses fresh distill'd supply'd their constant loves.
Now Horace' hand the string inspir'd ;
My soul, impatient as he sung,
The Muse unconquerable fir’d,
And heavenly accents seiz'd my tongue :
Then lock'd in admiration sweet I bow'd,
Confess'd his potent art, nor could forbear aloud.
Hail, glorious Bard! whose high command
A thousand various strings obey,
While joins and mixes to thy hand
At once the bold and tender lay!
Not mighty Homer down Parnassus steep
Rolls the full tide of verse so clear, and yet so deep.
O could I catch one ray divine
From thy intolerable blaze !
pour strong lustre on my line,
And my aspiring song to raise ;
Then should the Muse her choicest influence shed,
And with eternal wreaths entwine my lofty head.
Then would I sing the sons of Fame,
Th’immortal chiefs of ancient age,
Or tell of Love's celestial flame,
Or ope fair Friendship's sacred page,
And leave the sullen thought and struggling groan,
To take their watchful stands around the gaudy throne,
From climes where Slavery's iron chain
Has bound to earth the soaring mind,
Where Grecia mourns her blasted plain
To want and indolence resign'd;
From fair Italia's once lov'd shore,
(The land of Freedom now no more)
Disdainful of each former seat,
The Arts, a lovely train, retreat:
Still prospering under Freedom's eye,
With her they bloom, with her they fly ;
And when the Power transferr'd her smile
To Albion's ever grateful isle,
The lovely Fugitives forgot to roam,
But rais'd their altars here, and fix'd their happier home.
Swift fly the hovering shades of Night,
When bursts the orient dawn of Day;
As swift before their mental light
The clouds of Ignorance decay.
First came the Muse-her great design
Each dull sensation to refine;
To plant in every rugged breast
The seeds of Genius and of Taste;
To bid the heart expand with woe,
Or with the great example glow,
Or smile along the sportive page,
Or shrink at Satire's pointed rage;
Thro’ Fancy’s realıns the wondering mind to bear,
And for her sister Arts an easier path prepare.
Of power to still the raging deep,
To damp the gay, to warm the cold,
To bid the steel-ribb’d warrior weep,
And make the trembling dastard bold,
To free the slave, the world to tame,
Queen of the Spheres, next Music came :-
Her strains can every care control,
And waft to heaven the list ning soul;
Can every soft affection move,
And tune the amorous pulse to love:
Now chaste and rapturous joys inspire,
Pure as the vestal's sacred fire;
Now loud and dreadful swell the strong alarms,
Foment the thirst of blood, the glorious rage of arms.
Next came the Power, in whom conjoin'd
Their different excellence is shewn;
Yet swee:ly blended, and combin'd
With charms peculiarly her own.
Beneath the great Creator's eye,
'Twas she with azure spread the sky;
And when Creation first had birth,
In happiest hues array'd the earth :
Still varying in each varied scene,
Bedeck'd the smiling meads with green,
Blush'd in the flower, and ting'd the fruit,
More lovely still as more minute ;
O’er every part the veil of beauty cast,
In heav'nly colors bright, thro' numerous years to
Hers is the glowing bold design,
The just and lessening perspective,
The beauties of the waving line,
And all the pencil's power can give.