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Fields, that cool Iliffus laves,
Or where Mæander's amber waves
In lingering Lab'rinths creep,
How do your tuneful Echos languish,
Infpiration breath'd around:
Murmur'd deep a folemn found: 'Till the fad Nine in Greece's evil hour
Left their Parnaffus for the Latian plains. Alike they scorn the pomp of tyrant Pow'r,'
And coward Vice, that revels in her chains. When Latium had her lofty fpirit loft,
They fought, oh Albion! next thy fea-encircled coaft.
Far from the fun and fummer gale,
In thy green lap was Nature's Darling laid,
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 fmil'd.
This pencil take (fhe faid) whofe colours clear
Richly paint the vernal year :
Thine too thefe golden keys, immortal Boy!
This can unlock the gates of Joy ;
Of Horrour that, and thrilling Fears,
Or ope the facred fource of fympathetic Tears.
Nor fecond He*, that rode fublime
Upon the feraph wings of Extafy,
The fecrets of th 'Abyss to spy.
He pass'd the flaming bounds of Place and Time:
The living Throne, the fapphire-blaze,
Where Angels tremble, while they gaze,
flammantia monia mundi.
For the fpirit of the living creature was in the
He faw but blafted with excefs of light,
Clofed his eyes in endless night.
Behold, where Dryden's lefs prefumptuous car,
Wide o'er the fields of Glory bear
+ Two Courfers of ethereal race,
With necks in thunder cloath'd, and long refounding pace.
their heads, was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a fapphire-ftone.-This was the appearance of the glory of the Lord.
Ezekiel i. 20, 26, 28.
* Οφθαλμῶν μὲν ἄμερσε· δίδου δ ̓ ἡδεῖαν ἀοιδήν.
+ Meant to exprefs the ftately march and founding energy of Dryden's rhimes.
Haft thou cloathed his neck with thunder?
Hark his hands the lyre explore!
Bright-ey'd Fancy, hovering o'er,
Scatters from her pictur'd urn
*Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.
+ But ah! tis heard no more
Oh! Lyre divine, what daring Spirit
Wakes thee now? tho' he inherit
* Words that weep, and tears that speak.
+ We have had in our language no other odes of the fublime kind, than that of Dryden on St. Cecilia's day : for Cowley (who had his merit) yet wanted judgment, ftyle, and harmony, for fuch a task. That of Pope is not worthy of fo great a man. Mr Mafon indeed of late days has touched the true chords, and with a mafterly hand, in fome of his Chorufes - above all, in the last of Caractacus,
Hark! heard ye not yon footstep dread c.
Nor the Pride, nor ample pinion,
Sailing with fupreme dominion
Thro' the azure deep of air:
Yet oft before his infant eyes would run
Such forms, as glitter in the Mufe's ray
With orient hues, unborrow'd of the Sun:
Yet fhall he mount, and keep his distant way
Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate,
Beneath the Good how far
but far above the
* Διὸς πρὸς ὅρνιθα θεῖν. Olymp. 2. pares himself to that bird, and his enemies to ravens that croak and clamour in vain below, while it purfues its flight, regardless of their noife.