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Now the rich stream of music winds along,
And frantic Passions bear thy soft control.
I. 3. Thee the voice, the dance, obey, Temper'd to thy warbled lay.
Ver. 13. Oh! Sou'rvign of the willing soul] Power of harmony to calm the turbulent sallies of the soul. The thoughts are borrowed from the first Pythian of Pindar.
Ver. 20. Perching on the sceptred hand] This is a weak imitation of some beautiful lines in the same ode.
Ver. 25. Thee the voice, the dance, obey] Power of harinony to produce all the graces of motion in the body.
O'er Idalia's velvet green
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 chcek, 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 giv’n in vain the heav'nly muse? Night and all her sickly dews,
Ver. 42. Man's feeble race what ills await] To compensate the real and imaginary ills of life, the muse was given to mankind by the same Providence that sends the day, by its cheerful presence, to dispel the gloom and terrors of the night,
Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry,
II. 2. 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 shiv’ring native's dull abode. And ost, beneath the od'rous shade Of Chili's boundless forests laid, She deigns to hear the savage youth repeat, In loose numbers wildly sweet, Their feather-cinctur'd chiefs, and dusky loves. Her track, where'er the goddess roves, Glory pursue, and gen'rous shame, Th’unconquerable Mind, and Freedom's holy flame.
Ver. 54. In climes beyond the solar road] Extensive influence of poetic genius over the remotest and most uncivilized nations : its connection with liberty, and the virtues that naturally attend on it. (See the Erse, Norwegian, and Welsh fragments, the Lapland and American songs, &c.]
“ Extra anni solisque vias—"
“ Tutta lontana dal camin del sole.”.
Fields, that cool Ilissus laves,
Or where Mæander's amber waves In lingering lab'rinths creep,
How do your tuneful echoes languish,
Mute, but to the voice of anguish! Where each old poetic mountain
Inspiration breath'd 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, oh Albion! next thy sea-encircled coast.
Ver. 66. Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep] Progress of Poetry from Greece to Italy, and from Italy to England. Chaucer was not unacquainted with the writings of Dante or of Petrarch. The Earl of Surry and Sir Thomas Wyatt had travelled in Italy, and formed their taste there. Spenser imitated the Italian writers ; Milton improved on them : but this school expired soon after the Restoration, and a new one arose on the French model, which has subsisted ever since.
6 Gray has been long dead, the Poets of the present day rather imitate the Italian and early English Poets than the French.
Ver. 84. In thy green lap was Nature's Darling laid] “Nature's darling," SHAKSPEARE.
What time, where lucid Avon stray'd,
To him the mighty mother did unveil Her awful face: the dauntless child Stretch'd forth his little arms and smil'd. a This pencil take (she said), whose colours clear Richly paint the vernal year: Thine too these golden keys, immortal Boy! This can unlock the gates of joy; Of horror that, and thrilling fears, Or ope the sacred source of sympathetic tears."
Nor second He, that rode sublime Upon the seraph wings of Ecstasy, The secrets of th' 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, Clos'd his eyes in endless night. Behold, where Dryden's less presumptuous car Wide o'er the fields of glory bear Two coursers of etherial race, With necks in thunder cloath'd, and long-resound
Ver. 95. Nor second He, that rode sublime] Milton.
Ver. 99. The living throne, the sapphire blaze] “For the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. And above the firmament, that was over their heads, was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone. This was the appearance of the glory of the Lord.” Ezek. 1. 20, 26, 28.
Ver. 106. With necks in thunder cloath'd] “Hast thou cloathed his neck with thunder?" JOB.--This verse and the foregoing