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Yet oft before his infant

eyes

would Such forms, as glitter in the Muse's ray With orient hues, unborrow'd of the Sun : Yet shall be mount, and keep his distant way Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate, Beneath the Good how far-but far above the Great.

ODE ON LYRIC POETRY.

[AKENSIDE.]

1. l. ONCE more I join the Thespian choir,

And taste th' inspiring fount again ; O parent of the Grecian lyre,

Admit me to thy pow'rful strain !
And lo! with ease my step invades
The pathless vale and op'ning shades,

I
spy

her verdant seat;
And now at large I drink the sound,
While these her offspring, list’ning round,

By turns her melody repeat.

Till now

I. 2.

I see Anacreon smile and sing,

His silver tresses breathe perfume,

His cheek displays a second spring

Of roses taught by wine to bloom.
Away, deceitful Cares! away,
And let me listen to his lay;

Let me the wanton pomp enjoy,
While in smooth dance the light-wing'd hours
Lead round his lyre its patron pow'rs,

Kind Laughter and convivial Joy.

I. 3.

Broke from the fetters of his native land,

Devoting shame and vengeance to her lords, With louder impulse and a threat’ning hand :

The Lesbian patriot* smites the sounding chords. Ye wretches ! ye perfidious train!. Ye curs’d of gods and free-born men !

Ye murd'rers of the laws! Though now ye glory in your lust,

Though now ye tread the feeble neck in dust, Yet Time and righteous Jove will judge your dreadful

cause.

II. 1.

But lo! to Sappho's melting airs

Descends the radiant queen of Love :

• Alcæus.

She smiles, and asks what fonder cares

Her suppliant's plaintive measures move?
Why is my faithful maid distrest?
Who, Sappho, wounds thy tender breast?

Say, flies he?-Soon he shall pursue :
Shuns he thy gifts ?-He soon shall give:
Slights he thy sorrows?-He shall grieve,

And soon to all thy wishes bow.

II. 2. But, O Melpomene! for whom

Awakes thy golden shell again? What mortal breath shall e'er presume

To echo that unbounded strain?
Majestic in the frown of years
Behold the man of Thebes* appears :

For some there are whose mighty frame
The hand of Jove at birth endow'd
With hopes that mock the gazing crowd,

As eagles drink the noon-tide flame.

II. 3.

While the dim raven beats her weary wings,

And clamours far below.- Propitious Muse! While I so late unlock thy purer springs,

And breathe whate'er thy ancient airs infuse,

* Pindar.

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Wilt thou for Albion's sons around,
(Ne'er had'st thou audience more renown'd)

Thy charming arts employ,
As when the winds from shore to shore,

Through Greece thy lyre's persuasive language bore, Till towns, and isles, and seas, return'd the vocal joy?

III. 1.

Yet then did Pleasure's lawless throng,

Oft rushing forth in loose attire,
Thy virgin dance, thy graceful song,

Pollute with impious revels dire.
O fair, O chaste! thy echoing shade
May no foul discord here invade ;

· Nor let thy strings one accent move,
Except what earth's untroubled ear
'Mid all her social tribes may hear,

And Heav'n's unerring throne approve.

III. 2.

Queen of the lyre ! in thy retreat

The fairest flow'rs of Pindus glow, The vine aspires to crown thy seat,

And myrtles round thy laurel grow : Thy strings adapt their varied strain To ev'ry pleasure, ev'ry pain,

Which mortal tribes were born to prove;
And strait our passions rise or fall,
As at the wind's imperious call

The ocean swells, the billows move.

III. 3.

When Midnight listens o'er the slumbʼring earth,

Let me, O Muse! thy solemn whispers hear; When Morning sends her fragrant breezes forth,

With airy murmurs touch my op’ning ear ;
And, ever watchful at thy side,
Let Wisdom's awful suffrage guide

The tenor of thy lay :
To her of old by Jove was giv'n

To judge the various deeds of earth and heav'n: 'Twas thine by gentle arts to win us to her sway.

IV. 1.

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Oft, as to well-earn'd ease resign'd,

I quit the maze where Science toils, Do thou refresh my yielding mind

With all thy gay delusive spoils; But oh indulgent, come not nigh The busy steps, the jealous eye

Of wealthy Care or gainful Age, Whose barren souls thy joys disdain, And hold as foes to Reason's reign

Whome'er thy lovely works engage.

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