Page images

“ 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,
Again the crouding strings the artist plies,
The vary'd numbers echo through the skies,
He stops, expectant of his rival's song;
She, though her voice now roughens on her tongue,

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.



[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

While each, thy servant, and thy friend,


pays his quick devoir :

Thee, form substantial may we name?
Or vapour from the Stygian stream,


Dost thou, a transient guest, arife

To lull our fouls, and close our eyes?
Oblivion, sprung from Lethe’s tide,
Waits, torpid goddess, at thy side,
Whilst with soft foot and airy bound,
Light Fancy leads the dance around,
Fancy! gay fylphid, sprightly queen,
Enliv'ner of the murky scene :

And dreams, and visions, round her play,

In painted garbs, and veitments gay,
Or stalk tremendous, through the airy way.


'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,
Slowly flap their leathern wings,

In lazy circlets round their God.

Then, flying from the face of day,

Should Melancholy thither stray,
In the low gloom, the echoing vale

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,


« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »