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ALEXANDER'S FEAST;

Ah, luckless speech, and bootless boast!

For which he paid full dear; For, while he spake, a braying ass

Did sing most loud and clear;

OR, THE POWER OF MUSIC.

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JOHN DRYDEN.
'Twas at the royal feast, for Persia won

By Philip's warlike son:
Aloft in awful state
The God-like hero sate

On his imperial throne:
His valiant peers were placed around,
Their brows with roses and with myrtles bound;

(So should desert in arms be crown'd.)
The lovely Thais, by his side,
Sate like a blooming Eastern bride
In flower of youth and beauty's pride.
Happy, happy, happy pair!

None but the brave,

None but the brave,
None but the brave deserves the fair.

a

Away went Gilpin, and away

Went Gilpin's hat and wig: He lost them sooner than at first;

For why?--they were too big. Now Mrs. Gilpin, when she saw

Her husband posting down Into the country far away,

She pulled out half-a-crown; And thus unto the youth she said,

That drove them to the Bell:
This shall be yours, when you bring back

My husband safe and well.'
The youth did ride, and soon did meet
· John coming back amain!
Whom in a trice he tried to stop,

By catching at his rein;
But, not performing what he meant,

And gladly would have done,
The frighted steed he frighted more,

And made him faster run.

Timotheus, placed on high

Amid the tuneful choir,

With flying fingers touch'd the lyre:
The trembling notes ascend the sky,

And heavenly joys inspire.
The song began from Jove,
Who left his blissful seats above,
(Such is the power of mighty love.)
A dragon's fiery form belied the god:
Sublime on radiant spires he rode,

When he to fair Olympia pressed:

And while he sought her snowy breast:
Then round her slender waist he curld,
And stamp'd an image of himself, a sovereign of the

world.
The listening crowd admire the lofty sound,
A present deity! They shout around:
A present deity! The vaulted roofs rebound.

With ravished ears
The monarch hears,
Assumes the god,

Affects to nod,
And seems to shakes the spheres.

Away went Gilpin, and away

Went post-boy at his heels, The post-boy's horse right glad to miss

The lumbering of the wheels. Six gentlemen upon the road

Thus seeing Gilpin fly, With post-boy scampering in the rear,

They raised the hue and cry. "Stop thief! stop thief! a highwayman ?"

Not one of them was mute;
And all and each that passed that way

Did join in the pursuit.
And now the turnpike gates again

Flew open in short space;
The tollmen thinking as before,

That Gilpin rode a race.

The praise of Bacchus then the sweet musician sung,
Of Bacchus-ever fair and ever young:

The jolly god in triumph comes:
Sound the trumpets; beat the drums:

Flush'd with a purple grace
He shows his honest face,

And so he did, and won it too,

For he got first to town; Nor stopped till where he had got up

He did again get down.

Now let us sing, long live the king,

And Gilpin, long live he; And when he next doth ride abroad,

May I be there to see!

Now give the hautboys breath. He comes! he comes!

Bacchus, ever fair and young,

Drinking joys did first ordain;
Bacchus' blessings are a treasure,
Drinking is the soldier's pleasure:

Rich the treasure,

Sweet the pleasure.
Sweet is pleasure ?? or pain.

Soothed with the sound, the king grew vain;

Fought all his battles o'er again; And thrice he routed all his foes; and thrice he slew

the slain.

Revenge! revenge! Timotheus cries,

See the furies arise!
See the snakes that they rear,

How they hiss in their hair!
And the sparkles that flash from their eyes!

Behold a ghastly band,
Each a torch in his hand!

The master saw the madness rise;
His glowing cheeks, his ardent eyes;
And, while he heaven and earth defied,
Changed his hand, and check'd his pride.

He chose a mournful muse

Soft pity to infuse:
He sung Darius, great and good;

By too severe a fate,
Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen,
Fallen from his high estate,

And welt'ring in his blood;
Deserted, at his utmost need,
By those his former bounty fed;
On the bare earth exposed he lies,

With not a friend to close his eyes.
With downcast looks the joyless victor sate,

Revolving in his alter'd soul

The various turns of chance below;
And, now and then, a sigh he stole;

And tears began to flow.
The mighty master smiled, to see
That love was in the next degree;
'Twas but a kindred-sound to move,
For pity melts the mind to love.

Softly sweet, in Lydian measures,

Soon he soothed his soul to pleasures, War, he sung, is toil and trouble; Honour, but an empty bubble;

Never ending, still beginning, Fighting still, and still destroying:

If the world be worth thy winning, Think, oh! think it worth enjoying:

Lovely Thais sits beside thee,

Take the good the gods provide thee.
The many rend the skies with loud applause;
so love was crown'd, but music won the cause.
The prince, unable to conceal his pain,

Gazed on the fair

Who caused his care,
And sigh'd and look'd, sigh'd ar: look'd,

Sigh'd and look'd, and sigh'd again:
At length, with love and wine at once oppress'd,
The vanquish'd victor sunk upon her breast.
Now strike the golden lyre again:
A louder yet, and yet a louder strain,
Break his bands of sleep asunder,
And rouse him, like a rattling peal of thunder.

Hark, hark! the horrid sound

Has raised up his head:

As awaked from the dead,
And amazed, he stares around.

Those are Grecian ghosts, that in battle were slain,

And unburied remain,
Inglorious on the plain:
Give the vengeance due

To the valiant crew.
Behold how they toss their torches on high,

How they point to the Persian abodes,

And glittering temples of their hostile gods. The princes applaud with a furious joy; And the king seized a flambeau with zeal to destroys

Thais led the way,

To light him to his prey,
And, like another Helen, fired another Trcy!

And could not heave her head,
The tuneful voice was heard from high,

Arise, ye more than dead!
Then cold, and hot, and moist and dry,
In order to their stations leap,

And music's power obey.
From harmony, from heavenly harmony,

This universal frame began:

From harmony to harmony,
Through all the compass of the notes it ran,

The diapason closing full in man.

:

What passion cannot music raise and quell!

When Juba) struck the chorded shell,
His listening brethren stood around,

And, wondering, on their faces fell
To worship that celestial sound.
Less than a god they thought there could not dweli

Within the hollow of that shell,

That spoke so sweetly and so well. What passion cannot music raise and quell!

The trumpet's loud clangor

Excites us to arms,
With shrill notes of anger,

And mortal alarms.
The double, double, double beat

Of the thundering drum

Cries, Hark! the foes come; Charge, charge! 'tis too late to retreat. The soft complaining flute

In dying notes discovers

The woes of hopeless lovers, Whose dirge is whisper'd by the warbling lute.

Sharp violins proclaim Their jealous pangs, and desperation, Fury, frantic indignation,

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"Nymph of a fair, but erring line!” Gently he said—“One hope is thine, 'Tis written in the Book of Fate,

The Peri yet may be forgiven Who brings to this Eternal Gate

The Gift that is most dear to Heaven! Go, seek it, and redeem thy sin ;'Tis sweet to let the Pardon'd in!”

But crimson now her rivers ran

With human blood—the smell of death Came reeking from their spicy bowers, And man, the sacrifice of man,

Mingled his taint with every breath Upwafted from the innocent flowers ! Land of the Sun! what foot invades Thy pagods and thy piliar'd shadesThy cavern shrines, and idol stones, Thy monarchs and their thousand thrones?

1 “The Mahometans suppose that falling stars are the fire. brands wherewith the good angels drive away the bad, when they approach too near the verge of the heavens."

: The Forty Pillars; so the Persians call the ruins of Persepolis. It is imagined by them that this palace, and the edifices at Baalbec, were built by genii, for the purpose of hiding in their subterraneous caverns immense treasures, which still remain there.

3 The Isles of Panchaia.

+ “The cup of Jamshid, discovered, they say, when digging for the foundations of Persepolis."

1 “Numerous small islands emerge from the Lake of Cashmere. One is called Char Chenaur, from the plane-trees upon

it.”

7" The Altan Kol, or Golden River of Tibet, which runs into the Lakes of Sing-su-hay, has abundance of gold in its sands."

3"The Brahmins of this province insist that the blue Campac dowers only in Paradise."

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“Be this,” she cried, as she wing'd her light, “My welcome gift at the Gates of Light, Though foul are the drops that oft distill

On the field of warfare, blood like this,

For liberty shed, so holy is,
It would not stain the purest rill,

That sparkles among the bowers of bliss!
Oh! if there be, on this earthly sphere,
A boon, and offering Heaven holds dear,
'Tis the last libation Liberty draws
From the heart that bleeds and breaks in her cause!"

Those ruin'd shrines and towers that seem The relics of a splendid dream;

Amid whose fairy loneliness Naught but the lapwing's cry is heard, Naught seen but (when the shadows, flitting Fast from the moon, unsheath its gleam) Some purple-wing'd sultana“ sitting

Upon a column, motionless And glittering, like an idol bird !

“Sweet,” said the Angel, as she gave

The gift into his radiant hand, "Sweet is our welcome of the brave

Who die thus for their native land.-But see—alas !—the crystal bar Of Eden moves not-holier far Than e'en this drop the boon must be, That opes the Gates of Heaven for thee!"

Who could have thought, that there, e'en there,
Amid those scenes so still and fair,
The Demon of the Plague hath cast
From his hot wing a deadlier blast,
More mortal far than ever came
From the red desert's sands of flame!
So quick, that every living thing
Of human shape, touch'd by his wing,
Like plants, where the simoom hath past,
At once falls black and withering!

1 Mahmood of Gazna, or Ghizni, who conquered India in the beginning of the eleventh century.

3“It is reported that the hunting equipage of the Sultan Mahmound was so magnificent, that he kept 400 greyhounds and bloodhounds each of which wore a collar set with jewels.

3" The Mountains of the Moon, or the Montes Lunæ of antiquity, at the foot of which the Nile is supposed to rise."

3«The orchards of Rosetta are filled with turtle doves."
• Savary mentions the pelicans upon Lake Mæris.
• A rare and beautiful bird.

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