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“ Or perish this weak lyre :” he said no more, But tun'd to harmony beyond her pow'r ;
Now loud, now shrill, now rais'd to loftier notes;
On Zephyr's wing the trembling music floats,
To own his pow'r fuperior still disdains;
Yet ah! in vain she tunes her sweetest strains ;
For whilst her little, simple voice essays
The labour'd mazes of his artful lays,
Too great th' attempt, too great her forrows rise,
Upon the victor's lyre she falls, and dies.
While each, thy servant, and thy friend,
pays his quick devoir :
Thee, form substantial may we name?
Dost thou, a transient guest, arife
To lull our fouls, and close our eyes?
And dreams, and visions, round her play,
In painted garbs, and veitments gay,
'Tis thine, o Sleep! so poets tell,
In drear Cimmerian haunt to dwell,
Where, wrapt in clouds, the mountains brow
Sheds dusky horrors o'er the vale below.
Far from the Sun's all chearing ray,
Beside a sullen river's wave,
Gapes the dull entrance of thy caves
Midit hov’ring mists, and twilight grey:
No feather'd fongster, there upborne,
With wakeful voice falutes the morn,
But all is solemn, filent, still,
Save where the hollow murm'ring rill,
Low creeping through the depths of night,
Doth flumbers more profound excite:
The poppy there delights to spread,
And nodding, lifts its languid head,
With herbs of baneful note, that breathe
Soporous juices, draughts of death :
While thousand fleeting shadows rise,
Whose mystic forms illude our eyes,
Impervious phalanx, dark’ning all the skics.
And often in the fylvan shade,
Where dimly beams the darkling glade,
Underneath fome filent bow'r,
Thou lov'st dull Sleep, to lose the listless hour.
There thy imps beside thee nod:
Or skimming low in mazy rings,
In lazy circlets round their God.
Then, flying from the face of day,
Should Melancholy thither stray,
Hears her tell her plaintive tale;
And trees that quiver, streams that flow
With mournful murmurs, footh her woe.
Thee the sad maid invokes, to shed
Oblivious dews around her head,