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Yet oft before his infant
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.
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 !
her verdant seat;
By turns her melody repeat.
I see Anacreon smile and sing,
His silver tresses breathe perfume,
His cheek displays a second spring
Of roses taught by wine to bloom.
Let me the wanton pomp enjoy,
Kind Laughter and convivial Joy.
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
But lo! to Sappho's melting airs
Descends the radiant queen of Love :
She smiles, and asks what fonder cares
Her suppliant's plaintive measures move?
Say, flies he?-Soon he shall pursue :
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?
For some there are whose mighty frame
As eagles drink the noon-tide flame.
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,
Wilt thou for Albion's sons around,
Thy charming arts employ,
Through Greece thy lyre's persuasive language bore, Till towns, and isles, and seas, return'd the vocal joy?
Yet then did Pleasure's lawless throng,
Oft rushing forth in loose attire,
Pollute with impious revels dire.
· Nor let thy strings one accent move,
And Heav'n's unerring throne approve.
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;
The ocean swells, the billows move.
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 ;
The tenor of thy lay :
To judge the various deeds of earth and heav'n: 'Twas thine by gentle arts to win us to her sway.
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.