« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
While to their Genius, more than Art, they trust,
Yet Art acknowledges their labors just.
From hence they look, from this exalted show,
To choose their subject in the world below,
And where an Hero well deserves a name,
They consecrate his acts in song to Fame;
Or, if a Science unadorn'd they find,
They smooth its look to please and teach the mind;
And where a Friendship's generously strong,
They celebrate the knot of souls in song ;
Or, if the Verses must inflame Desire,
The thoughts are melted, and the words on fire:
But, when the Temples deck'd with glory stand,
And hymns of Gratitude the Gods demand,
Their bosoms kindle with Celestial Love,
And then alone they cast their eyes above.
Hail, sacred Verse! ye sacred Muses! hail! Could I your pleasures with your fire reveal, The world might then be taught to know your right, And court your rage, and envy my delight. But, whilst I follow where your pointed beams My course directing shoot in golden streams, The bright appearance dazzles Fancy's eyes, And weary'd-out the fix'd Attention lies; Enough, my Verses, have you work'd my breast, I'll seek the sacred Grove, and sink to rest."
No longer now the ravish'd Poet sung, His voice in easy cadence left the tongue ;
Nor o'er the music did his fingers fly,
The sounds ran tingling, and they seem'd to die.
O, Bolingbroke! O Favourite of the skies,
O born to gifts by which the noblest rise,
Improv'd in arts by which the brightest please,
Intent to business, and polite for ease;
Sublime in eloquence, where loud applause
Hath stil'd thee Patron of a nation's cause.
'Twas there the world perceiv'd and own'd thee great,
Thence Anna call'd thee to the reins of State;
"Go, said the greatest Queen, with Oxford go,
And still the tumults of the world below,
Exert thy powers, and prosper; he that knows
To move with Oxford, never should repose."
She spake the Patriot overspread thy mind,
And all thy days to public good resign'd.
Else might thy soul, so wonderfully wrought
For every depth and turn of curious thought,
To this the Poet's sweet recess retreat,
And thence report the pleasures of the seat,
Describe the raptures which a Writer knows,
When in his breast a vein of fancy glows,
Describe his business while he works the mine,
Describe his temper when he sees it shine,
Or say, when Readers easy verse insnares,
How much the Writer's mind can act on theirs :
Whence images, in charming numbers set,
A sort of likeness in the soul beget,
And what fair visions oft we fancy nigh
By fond delusions of the swimming eye,
Or further pierce through Nature's maze to find
How passions drawn give passions to the mind.
Oh, what a sweet confusion! what surprize!
How quick the shifting views of pleasure rise!
While, lightly skimming, with a transient wing,
I touch the beauties which I wish to sing.
Is Verse a sovereign Regent of the soul,
And fitted all its motions to control?
Or are they sisters, tun'd at once above,
And shake like unisons if either move?
For, when the numbers sing an eager fight,
I've heard a soldier's voice express delight;
I've seen his eyes with crowding spirits shine,
And round his hilt his hand unthinking twine.
When from the shore the fickle Trojan flies,
And in sweet measures poor Eliza dies,
I've seen the book forsake the virgin's hand,
And in her eyes the tears but hardly stand.
I've known her blush at soft Corinna's name,
And in red characters confess a flame :
Or wish success had more adorn'd his arms,
Who gave the world for Cleopatra's charms.
Ye Sons of Glory, be my first appeal,
If here the power of lines these lines reveal.
When some great youth has with impetuous thought
Read o'er achievements which another wrought,
And seen his courage and his honor go
Through crowding nations in triumphant show,
His soul, enchanted by the words he reads,
Shines all impregnated with sparkling seeds,
And courage here, and honor there, appears
In brave design that soars beyond his years,
And this a spear, and that a chariot lends,
And war and triumph he by turns attends;
Thus gallant pleasures are his waking dream,
Till some fair cause have call'd him forth to fame.
Then, form'd to life on what the Poet made,
And breathing slaughter, and in arms array'd,
He marches forward on the daring foe,
And emulation acts in every blow.
Great Hector's shade in fancy stalks along,
From rank to rank amongst the martial throng;
While from his acts he learns a noble rage,
And shines like Hector in the present age.
Thus verse will raise him to the victor's bays;
And verse, that rais'd him, shall resound his praise.
Ye tender Beauties, be my witness too, If Song can charm, and if my Song be true. With sweet experience oft a Fair may find Her passions mov'd by passions well design'd; And then she longs to meet a gentle swain, And longs to love, and to be lov'd again. And if by chance an amorous youth appears, With pants and blushes she the courtship hears;
And finds a tale that must with theirs agree,
And he's Septimius, and his Acme she :
Thus lost in thought, her melted heart she gives,
And the rais'd Lover by the Poet lives.