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Till, by degrees, remote and small,
The strains decay,

And melt away,
In a dying, dying fall.



By Music, minds an equal temper know,

Nor swell too high, nor sink too low. If in the breast tumultuous joys arise, Music her soft, assuasive voice applies ;

Or, when the soul is press’d with cares,

Exalts her in enlivening airs.
Warriors she fires with animated sounds;
Pours balm into the bleeding lover's wounds:

Melancholy lifts her head,
Morpheus rouses from his bed,
Sloth unfolds her arms and wakes,

Listening Envy drops her snakes;
Intestine War no more our Passions wage,
And giddy Factions hear away their rage.



But when our country's cause provokes to arms,
How martial music every bosom warms !
So when the first bold vessel dared the seas,
High on the stern the Thracian raised his strain,

While Argo saw her kindred trees 40

Descend from Pelion to the main.
Transported demi-gods stood round,
And men grew heroes at the sound,

Inflamed with glory's charms :
Each chief his sevenfold shield display'd, 45
And half unsheathed the shining blade:

And seas, and rocks, and skies rebound
To arms, to arms, to arms !

But when, through all the infernal bounds,

50 Which flaming Phlegethon surrounds,

Love, strong as Death, the Poet led

To the pale nations of the dead,
What sounds were heard,
What scenes appear'd,

55 O’er all the dreary coasts !

Dreadful gleams,
Dismal screams,
Fires that glow,
Sbrieks of woe,
Sullen moans,

Hollow groans,
And cries of tortured ghosts !
But hark! he strikes the golden lyre !
And see! the tortured ghosts respire,

See, shady forms advance;
Thy stone, O Sisyphus, stands still,
Ixion rests upon

his wheel,
And the pale spectres dance,

69 The Furies sink upon their iron beds, And snakes uncurl'd hang listening round their heads.



By the streams that ever flow,
By the fragrant winds that blow

O'er the Elysian flowers ;
By those happy souls who dwell
In yellow meads of asphodel,

Or amaranthine bowers;
By the heroes' armed shades,
Glittering through the gloomy glades;
By the youths that died for love,
Wandering in the myrtle grove,

80 85

Restore, restore Eurydice to life:
O take the Husband, or return the Wife!

He sung, and hell consented

To hear the Poet's prayer:
Stern Proserpine relented,

him back the fair.
Thus song could prevail

O’er death and o'er hell,
A conquest how hard and how glorious !

Though fate had fast bound her

With Styx nine times round her, Yet Music and Love were victorious.


But soon, too soon, the lover turns his eyes:
Again she falls, again she dies, she dies !
How wilt thou now the fatal sisters move ? 95
No crime was thine, if 't is no crime to love.

Now under hanging mountains,
Beside the fall of fountains,
Or where Hebrus wanders,
Rolling in meanders,

All alone,
Unheard, unknown,
He makes his moan;

And calls her ghost,
For ever, ever, ever lost!

105 Now with Furies surrounded, Despairing, confounded, He trembles, he glows,

Amidst Rhodope's snows: See, wild as the winds, o'er the desert he flies; 110 Hark! Hæmus resounds with the Bacchanals' cries.

Ah, see! he dies.

Yet ev'n in death Eurydice he sung, Eurydice still trembled on his tongue; Eurydice the woods,

115 Eurydice the floods, Eurydice the rocks and hollow mountains rung.

Music the fiercest grief can charm,
And fate's severest rage disarm :
Music can soften pain to ease,

And make despair and madness please :
Our joys below it can improve,

And antedate the bliss above. This the divine Cecilia found, And to her Maker's praise confined the sound. 125 When the full organ joins the tuneful quire,

The immortal powers incline their ear; Borne on the swelling notes our souls aspire, While solemn airs improve the sacred fire; And angels lean from heaven to hear.

130 Of Orpheus now no more let Poets tell,

To bright Cecilia greater power is given;
His numbers raised a shade from hell,
Hers lift the soul to heaven.



O HAPPINESS! our being's end and aim!
Good, Pleasure, Ease, Content! whate'er thy name;
That something still which prompts the eternal sigh,
For which we bear to live, or dare to die,
Which still so near us, yet beyond us lies,
O'erlook’d, seen double, by the fool, and wise.

Plant of celestial seed! if dropt below,
Say, in what mortal soil thou deign'st to grow ?
Fair opening to some court's propitious shine,
Or deep with diamonds in the flaming mine? 10
Twined with the wreaths Parnassian laurels yield,
Or reap'd in iron harvests of the field ?
Where grows ?—where grows it not? If vain our toil,
We ought to blame the culture, not the soil.
Fix'd to no spot is happiness sincere,

15 'T is nowhere to be found, or everywhere; 'T is never to be bought, but always free, And fled from monarchs, St. John! dwells with thee.

Ask of the learn'd the way: the learn'd are blind; This bids to serve, and that to shun mankind; 20 Some place the bliss in action, some in ease, Those call it pleasure, and contentment these; Some sunk to beasts, find pleasure end in pain; Some swell’d to gods, confess ev'n virtue vain; Or indolent, to each extreme they fall,

25 To trust in everything, or doubt of all.

Who thus define it, say they more or less Than this, that happiness is happiness?

Take Nature's path, and mad Opinion's leave; All states can reach it, and all heads conceive; 30 Obvious her goods, in no extreme they dwell; There needs but thinking right, and meaning well; And mourn our various portions as we please, Equal is common sense and common ease.

Remember, man, “ the Universal Cause 35 Acts not by partial, but by general laws;" And makes what Happiness we justly call, Subsist not in the good of one, but all.

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