« ZurückWeiter »
Melancholy lifts her head,
Morpheus rouses from his bed,
Sloth unfolds her arms and wakes,
Listening Envy drops her snakes ;
Intestine war no more our passions wage,
And giddy factions hear away their rage.
But when our country's cause provokes to arms,
How martial music every bosom warms !
So when the first bold vessel dar'd the seas,
High on the stern the Thracian rais'd his strair.
While Argo saw her kindred trees
Descend from Pelion to the main :
Transported demigods stood round,
And men grew heroes at the sound,
Inflam'd with glory's charms :
Each chief his sevenfold shield display'd,
And half unsheath'd the shining blade ;
And seas, and rocks, and skies, rebound
To arms, to arms, to arms !
But when through all th' infernal bounds,
Which flaming Phlegethon surrounds,
Love, strong as death, the poet led
To the pale nations of the dead,
What sounds were heard,
What scenes appear’d,
O’er all the dreary coasts!
Fires that glow,
Shrieks of wo,
And cries of tortur'd ghosts!
But, hark! he strikes the golden lyre;
And, see! the tortur'd ghosts respire;
See, shady forms advance!
Thy stone, O Sisyphus! stands still,
Ixion rests upon his wheel,
And the pale spectres dance;
The Furies sink upon their iron beds,
And snakes uncurl'd hang listening round their heads.
By the streams that ever flow,
By the fragrant winds that blow
O'er th' Elysian flowers;
By those happy souls who dwell
In yellow meads of asphodel,
Or amaranthine bowers;
By the heroes' armed shades,
Glittering through the gloomy glades ;
By the youths that died for love,
Wandering in the myrtle grove,
Restore, restore Eurydice to life;
Oh, take the husband, or return the wife!-
He sung, and Hell consented
To hear the poet's pray'r;
Stern Proserpine relented,
And gave him back the fair.
Thus Song could prevail
O'er Death and o'er Hell,
A conquest how hard and how glorious!
Though Fate had fast bound her,
With Styx nine times round her,
Yet Music and Love were victorious.
But soon, too soon, the lover turns his eyes;
Again she falls, again she dies, she dies!
How wilt thou now the fatal sisters move?
No crime was thine, if 'tis no crime to love.
Now under hanging mountains,
Beside the falls of fountains,
Or where Hebrus wanders,
Rolling in meanders, .
He makes his moan;
And calls her ghost,
For ever, ever, ever lost!
Now with Furies surrounded,
He trembles, he glows,
Amidst Rhodope's snows:
See, wild as the winds o'er the desert he flies;
Hark! Hamus resounds with the Bacchanals'
Ah see, he dies!
Yet ev'n in death Eurydice he sung,
Eurydice still trembled on his tongue;
Eurydice the woods,
Eurydice the floods,
Eurydice the rocks and hollow mountains rung.
Music the fiercest grief can charm,
And Fate's severest rage disarm :
Music can soften pain to ease,
And make despair and madness please :
Our joys below it can improve,
And antedate the bliss above.
This the divine Cecilia found,
And to her Maker's praise confin’d the sound.
When the full organ joins the tuneful quire,
Th’immortal powers incline their ear ;
Borne on the swelling notes our souls aspire,
While solemn airs improve the sacred fire,
And angels lean from Heaven to hear.
Of Orpheus now no more let poets tell;
To bright Cecilia greater power is giv'n:
His numbers rais'd a shade from Hell,
Her's lift the soul to Heav'n.
Trou child of Nature, Genius strong,
Thou master of the poet's song,
.Before whose light, art's dim and feeble ray
Gleams like the taper in the blaze of day;
Thou lov'st to steal along the secret shade,
Where Fancy, bright aerial maid !
Awaits thee with her thousand charıns,
And revels in thy wanton arms;
She to thy bed in days of yore,
The sweetly warbling Shakspeare bore ;
Whom every muse endow'd with every skill,
And dipt him in that sacred rill, Whose silver streams flow musical along, Where Phæbus' hallow'd mount resounds with
Forsake not thou the vocal choir, Their breasts revisit with thy genial fire.
Else vain the studied sounds of mimic art,
Tickle the ear, but come not near the heart.
Vain every phrase in curious order set,
On each side leaning on the (stop-gap) epithet.
Vain the quick rhyme still tinkling in the close,
While pure description shines in measur'd prose.
Thou bear'st aloof, and look’st with high dis
Upon the dull mechanic train; (dain, Whose nervous strains flag on in languid tone, Lifeless and lumpish as the bagpipe's drowsy drone.
No longer now thy altars blaze,
No poet offers up his lays;
Inspir'd with energy divine,
To worship at thy sacred shrine,
Since Taste* with absolute domain,
Extending wide her leaden reign,
Kills with her melancholy shade
The blooming scions of fair Fancy's tree ;
Which erst full wantonly have stray'd
In many a wreath of richest poesy.
For when the oak denies her stay,
The creeping ivy winds her humble way;
No more she twists her branches round,
But drags her feeble stem along the barren ground. .
Where then shall exild Genius go ?
Since only those the laurel claim,
And boast them of the poet's name, Whose sober rhymes in even tenor flow;
Who prey on words, and all their flowerets cull, Coldly correct, and regularly dull.
* By taste, is here meant the modern affectation of it,