« PreviousContinue »
Oh! Sovereign* of the willing soul, Parent of sweet and solemn-breathing airs, Enchanting shell! the sullen Cares And frantic Passions hear thy soft controul. On Thracia's hills the Lord of War Has curb’d the fury of his car, And drop'd his thirsty lance at thy command. Perching on the sceptred hand Of Jove, thy magic lulls the feather'd king With ruffled plumes, and flagging wing: Quench'd in dark clouds of slumber lie The terror of his beak, and lightnings of his eye.
Thee the voice, the dance, obey,
* Power of harmony to calm the turbulent sallies of the soul.
To brisk notes in cadence beating,
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 given in vain the heav'nly Muse ? Night, and all her sickly dews, Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry, He gives to range the dreary sky : Till down the eastern cliffs afar Hyperion's march they spy, and glittring shafts of war.
* 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.
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 shivering Native's dull abode. And oft, beneath the odrous 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 generous Shame, Th' unconquerable Mind, and Freedom's holy flame.
* Extensive influence of poetic Genius over the remotest and most uncivilized nations : its connection with liberty, and the virtues that naturally attend on it.
+ Progress of Poetry from Greece to Italy, and from Italy to England.
Where each old poetic Mountain
Nor second He,* that rode sublime