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Last came Joy's ecstatic trial.
He, with viny crown advancing,
First to the lively pipe his hand address'd,
But soon he saw the brisk awakening viol,
Whose sweet entrancing voice he lov'd 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 kiss'd the strings,
Love fram'd 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 lov'd Athenian bower,
You learn’d an all-commanding power,
Thy mimic soul, O nymph endear'd,
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, energetic, 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, divinier rage,
Than all which charms this laggard age,
Evin all at once together found
Cæcilia's mingled world of sound-
0, bid our vain endeavours cease,
Revive the just designs of Greece,
Return in all thy simple state,
Confirm the tales her sons relate!
OPPRESSED with grief, oppress'd with care,
A burden more than I can bear,
I sit me down and sigh :
O life! thou art a galling load,
Along a rough, a weary road,
To wretches such as I!
Dim-backward as I cast my view,
What sickening scenes appear!
What sorrows yet may pierce me through,
Too justly I may fear!
Still caring, despairing,
Must be my bitter doom ;
My woes here shall close ne'er,
But with the closing tomb!
Happy! ye sons of busy life,
Who, equal to the bustling strife,
No other view regard !
Ev’n when the wished end's denied,
Yet, while the busy means are plied,
They bring their own reward :
Whilst I, a hope-abandon'd wight,
Unfitted with an aim,
Meet every sad returning night
And joyless morn the same.
You bustling and justling,
Forget each grief and pain; 1, listless, yet restless,
Find every prospect vain.
How blest the Solitary's lot,
Who, all-forgetting, all forgot,
Within his humble cell,
The cavern wild with tangling roots,
Sits o'er his newly-gather'd fruits,
Beside his crystal well!
Or haply to his evening thought,
By unfrequented stream,
The ways of man are distant brought,
A faint-collected dream:
While praising, and raising
His thoughts to Heaven on high,
As wand'ring, meand'ring,
He views the solemn sky.
Than I, no lonely Hermit plac'd
Where never human footstep trac’d,
Less fit to play the part,
The lucky moment to improve,
And just to stop, and just to move,
With self-respecting art:
But ah! those pleasures, loves, and joys,
Which I too keenly taste, The Solitary can despise,
Can want, and yet be blest!
He needs not, he heeds not,
Or human love or hate;
Whilst I here, must cry here,
At perfidy ingrate!
Oh! enviable early days,
When dancing thoughtless Pleasure's maze,
To Care, to Guilt unknown!
How ill exchang’d for rip times,
To feel the follies or the crimes
Of others, or my own!
Ye tiny elves, that guiltless sport
Like linnets in the bush,
Ye little know the ills ye court,
When manhood is your wish!
The losses, the crosses,
That active man engage,
The fears all, the tears all,
Of dim declining age!