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While Spring shall pour his show'rs, as oft he wont,
And bathe thy breathing tresses, meekest Eve;
While Summer loves to sport
Beneath thy ling'ring light;
While sallow Autumn fills thy lap with leaves;
Or Winter, yelling through the troublous air,
Affrights thy shrinking train,
And rudely rends thy robes;
So long, sure-found beneath the sylvan shed,
Shall Fancy, Friendship, Science, rose-lipped Health,
Thy gentlest influence own,
And hymn thy fav'rite name!
AN ODE FOR MUSIC
When Music, heav'nly maid, was young,
While yet in early Greece she sung,
The Passions oft, to hear her shell,
Thronged around her magic cell,
Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting,
Possest beyond the Muse's painting;
By turns they felt the glowing mind
Disturbed, delighted, raised, refined:
Till once, 't is said, when all were fired,
Filled with fury, rapt, inspired,
From the supporting myrtles round
They snatched her instruments of sound;
And, as they oft had heard apart
Sweet lessons of her forceful art,
Each (for madness ruled the hour)
Would prove his own expressive pow'r.
First Fear his hand, its skill to try,
Amid the chords bewildered laid,
And back recoiled, he knew not why,
Ev'n at the sound himself had made.
Next Anger rushed: his eyes, on fire,
In lightnings owned his secret stings;
In one rude clash he struck the lyre,
And swept with hurried hand the strings.
With woful measures wan Despair
Low, sullen sounds his grief beguiled;
A solemn, strange, and mingled air-
'T was sad by fits, by starts 't was wild.
But thou, O Hope, with eyes so fair,
What was thy delightful measure?
Still it whispered promised pleasure,
And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail!
Still would her touch the strain prolong;
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale,
She called on Echo still, through all the song;
And where her sweetest theme she chose,
A soft responsive voice was heard at ev'ry close,
And Hope, enchanted, smiled, and waved her golden hair.
And longer had she sung-but with a frown
Revenge impatient rose;
He threw his blood-stained sword in thunder down,
And with a with'ring look
The war-denouncing trumpet took,
And blew a blast so loud and dread,
Were ne'er prophetic sounds so full of woe.
And ever and anon he beat
The doubling drum with furious heat;
And though sometimes, each dreary pause between,
Dejected Pity, at his side,
Her soul-subduing voice applied,
Yet still he kept his wild unaltered mien,
While each strained ball of sight seemed bursting from his
Thy numbers, Jealousy, to naught were fixed,
Sad proof of thy distressful state;
Of diff'ring themes the veering song was mixed,
And now it courted Love, now raving called on Hate.
With eyes upraised, as one inspired,
Pale Melancholy sate retired,
And from her wild sequestered seat,
In notes by distance made more sweet,
Poured through the mellow horn her pensive soul;
And, dashing soft from rocks around,
Bubbling runnels joined the sound:
Through glades and glooms the mingled measure stole,
Or o'er some haunted stream, with fond delay,
Round an holy calm diffusing,
Love of peace and lonely musing,
In hollow murmurs died away.
But O how altered was its sprightlier tone,
When Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthiest hue,
Her bow across her shoulder flung,
Her buskins gemmed with morning dew,
Blew an inspiring air, that dale and thicket rung,
The hunter's call, to faun and dryad known!
The oak-crowned sisters, and their chaste-eyed queen,
Satyrs, and sylvan boys, were seen,
Peeping from forth their alleys green;
Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear;
And Sport leapt up, and seized his beechen spear.
Last came Joy's ecstatic trial:
He, with viny crown advancing,
First to the lively pipe his hand addrest; But soon he saw the brisk awak'ning viol,
Whose sweet entrancing voice he loved the best. They would have thought, who heard the strain, They saw in Tempe's vale her native maids,
Amidst the festal-sounding shades,
To some unwearied minstrel dancing,
While, as his flying fingers kissed the strings,
Love framed with Mirth a gay fantastic round;
Loose were her tresses seen, her zone unbound,
And he, amidst his frolic play,
As if he would the charming air repay,
Shook thousand odours from his dewy wings.
O Music! sphere-descended maid!
Friend of Pleasure, Wisdom's aid!
Why, goddess, why, to us denied,
Lay'st thou thy ancient lyre aside?
As in that loved Athenian bow'r
You learned an all-commanding pow'r,
Thy mimic soul, O nymph endeared,
Can well recall what then it heard.
Where is thy native simple heart,
Devote to Virtue, Fancy, Art?
Arise as in that elder time,
Warm, energic, chaste, sublime!
Thy wonders, in that godlike age,
Fill thy recording sister's page:
'Tis said, and I believe the tale,
Thy humblest reed could more prevail,
Had more of strength, diviner rage,
Than all which charms this laggard age,
Ev'n all at once together found,
Cecilia's mingled world of sound.
O bid our vain endeavours cease:
Revive the just designs of Greece;
Return in all thy simple state;
Confirm the tales her sons relate!
H—, thou return'st from Thames, whose naiads long
Have seen thee ling'ring, with a fond delay,
'Mid those soft friends whose hearts, some future day,
Shall melt, perhaps, to hear thy tragic song.
Go, not unmindful of that cordial youth
Whom, long endeared, thou leav'st by Lavant's side;
Together let us wish him lasting truth,
And joy untainted, with his destined bride.
Go! nor regardless, while these numbers boast
AN ODE ON THE POPULAR SUPERSTITIONS OF THE HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND
CONSIDERED AS THE SUBJECT OF POETRY
My short-lived bliss, forget my social name, But think, far off, how, on the southern coast, I met thy friendship with an equal flame. Fresh to that soil thou turn'st whose ev'ry vale
Shall prompt the poet, and his song demand:
To thee thy copious subjects ne'er shall fail;
Thou need'st but take the pencil to thy hand,
And paint what all believe who own thy genial land.
There must thou wake perforce thy Doric quill:
'Tis Fancy's land to which thou sett'st thy feet,
Where still, 't is said, the fairy people meet
Beneath each birken shade on mead or hill.
There each trim lass that skims the milky store
To the swart tribes their creamy bowl allots;
By night they sip it round the cottage door,
While airy minstrels warble jocund notes.
There ev'ry herd, by sad experience, knows
How, winged with fate, their elf-shot arrows fly, When the sick ewe her summer food foregoes,
Or, stretched on earth, the heart-smit heifers lie. Such airy beings awe th' untutored swain,
Nor thou, though learn'd, his homelier thoughts neglect; Let thy sweet Muse the rural faith sustain:
These are the themes of simple, sure effect, That add new conquests to her boundless reign,
And fill, with double force, her heart-commanding strain. 35
Ev'n yet preserved, how often may'st thou hear,
Where to the pole the boreal mountains run,
Taught by the father to his list'ning son,
Strange lays, whose pow'r had charmed a Spenser's ear.
At ev'ry pause, before thy mind possest,
Old runic bards shall seem to rise around,
With uncouth lyres, in many-coloured vest,
Their matted hair with boughs fantastic crowned: Whether thou bid'st the well-taught hind repeat
The choral dirge that mourns some chieftain brave,