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Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth
A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown: Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth, And Melancholy marked him for her own.
Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere;
Heav'n did a recompense as largely send:
He gave to Mis'ry all he had, a tear;
He gained from Heav'n ('t was all he wished) a friend.
No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode
(There they alike in trembling hope repose), The bosom of his Father and his God.
THE PROGRESS OF POESY
Awake, Eolian lyre, awake,
And give to rapture all thy trembling strings!
A thousand rills their mazy progress take;
The laughing flowers that round them blow
Now the rich stream of music winds along
Through verdant vales and Ceres' golden reign:
The rocks and nodding groves rebellow to the roar.
Oh sovereign of the willing soul,
Parent of sweet and solemn-breathing airs,
And frantic Passions hear thy soft control.
On Thracia's hills the Lord of War
Has curbed the fury of his car
And dropped his thirsty lance at thy command.
Of Jove, thy magic lulls the feathered king With ruffled plumes and flagging wing; Quenched in dark clouds of slumber lie The terror of his beak and lightnings of his eye.
Slow melting strains their Queen's approach declare:
With arms sublime, that float upon the air,
O'er her warm cheek and rising bosom move
The bloom of young Desire and purple light of Love.
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!
And justify the laws of Jove.
Say, has he giv'n in vain the heav'nly Muse?
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 glittʼring shafts of war.
In climes beyond the solar road,
Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam, 55 The Muse has broke the twilight-gloom
To cheer the shiv'ring native's dull abode.
Of Chili's boundless forests laid,
She deigns to hear the savage youth repeat,
In loose numbers wildly sweet,
Their feather-cinctured chiefs and dusky loves.
Her track, where'er the goddess roves,
Glory pursue, and generous Shame,
Th' unconquerable Mind, and Freedom's holy flame.
Woods that wave o'er Delphi's steep,
Isles that crown th' Ægean deep,
Fields that cool Ilissus laves,
Inspiration breathed around,
Murmured deep a solemn sound;
Till the sad Nine in Greece's evil hour
Left their Parnassus for the Latian plains:
And coward Vice that revels in her chains.
Far from the sun and summer-gale,
"This pencil take," she said, "whose colours clear
Thine too these golden keys, immortal boy:
Of Horrour that, and thrilling Fears,
Or ope the sacred source of sympathetic tears."
Nor second he that rode sublime
Upon the seraph-wings of Ecstasy,
The secrets of th' Abyss to spy.
He passed the flaming bounds of Place and Time:
The living throne, the sapphire blaze,
Where angels tremble while they gaze,
He saw; but, blasted with excess of light,
Closed his eyes in endless night.
Behold where Dryden's less presumptuous car
Wide o'er the fields of Glory bear
Two coursers of ethereal race,
With necks in thunder clothed, and long-resounding pace!
Hark! his hands the lyre explore:
Bright-eyed Fancy hovering o'er,
That the Theban Eagle bear,
Through the azure deep of air,
Yet oft before his infant eyes would run
Such forms as glitter in the Muse's ray,
With orient hues unborrowed of the sun:
Yet shall he mount, and keep his distant way Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate,
Beneath the good how far-but far above the great.
"Ruin seize thee, ruthless king!
Confusion on thy banners wait;
Though fanned by Conquest's crimson wing,
Helm, nor hauberk's twisted mail,
Nor even thy virtues, tyrant, shall avail
From Cambria's curse, from Cambria's tears!"
He wound with toilsome march his long array.
"To arms!” cried Mortimer, and couched his quiv'ring lance.
On a rock whose haughty brow
Frowns o'er old Conway's foaming flood,
Robed in the sable garb of woe,
Streamed, like a meteor, to the troubled air),
Struck the deep sorrows of his lyre:
Sighs to the torrent's awful voice beneath!
Vocal no more, since Cambria's fatal day,
"Cold is Cadwallo's tongue,
That hushed the stormy main;
Brave Urien sleeps upon his craggy bed;
Mountains, ye mourn in vain
Modred, whose magic song
Made huge Plinlimmon bow his cloud-topped head:
Smeared with gore and ghastly pale;
Far, far aloof th' affrighted ravens sail;
The famished eagle screams, and passes by.
Dear lost companions of my tuneful art,
Dear as the light that visits these sad eyes,
Dear as the ruddy drops that warm my heart,