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Whate'er the waters, or the liquid air,
To deck thy lovely labour. Wilt thou fly
With laughing Autumn to the Atlantic isles,
And range with him the Hesperian field, and see
Where'er his fingers touch the fruitful grove,
The branches shoot with gold; where'er his step
Marks the glad soil, the tender clusters grow
With purple ripeness, and invest each hill
As with the blushes of an evening sky ?
Or wilt thou rather stoop thy vagrant plume,
Where gliding through his daughter's honour'd

shades,
The smooth Peneus from his glassy flood
Reflects purpureal Tempé's pleasant scene?
Fair Tempé! haunt belov'd of sylvan powers,
Of Nymphs and Fauns; where in the golden age
They play'd in secret on the shady brink
With ancient Pan: while round their choral steps
Young Hours and genial Gales with constant hand
Shower'd blossoms, odours, shower'd ambrosial

dews,
And Spring's Elysian bloom. Her flowery store
To thee nor Tempé shall refuse; nor watch
Of winged Hydra guard Hesperian fruits
From thy free spoil. O bear then, unreprov'd,
Thy smiling treasures to the green recess
Where

young Dione stays. With sweetest airs
Entice her forth to lend her angel-form
For Beauty's honour'd image. Hither turn
Thy graceful footsteps ; hither, gentle maid,
Incline thy polish'd forehead : let thy eyes
Effuse the mildness of their azure dawn;

And may the fanning breezes waft aside Thy radiant locks : disclosing, as it bends With airy softness from the marble neck, The cheek fair-blooming, and the rosy lip, Where winning smiles and pleasures sweet as love, With sanctity and wisdom, tempering blend Their soft allurement. Then the pleasing force Of Nature, and her kind parental care Worthier I'd sing : then all the enamour'd youth, With each admiring virgin, to my lyre Should throng attentive, while I point on high Where Beauty's living image, like the morn That wakes in Zephyr's arms the blushing May, Moves onward; or as Venus, when she stood Effulgent on the pearly car, and smild, Fresh from the deep, and conscious of her form, To see the Tritons tune their vocal shells, And each cerulean sister of the flood With loud acclaim attend her o'er the waves, To seek the Idalian bower. Ye smiling band Of youths and virgins, who through all the maze Of young desire with rival-steps pursue This charm of beauty; if the pleasing toil Can yield a moment's respite, hither turn Your favourable ear, and trust my words. I do not mean to wake the gloomy form Of Superstition dress’d in Wisdom's gart, To damp your tender hopes; I do not mean To bid the jealous thunderer fire the heavens, Or shapes infernal rend the groaning Earth To fright you from your joys: my cheerful song With better omens calls you to the field,

Pleas'd with your generous ardour in the chase,
And warm like you. Then tell me, for ye know,
Does Beauty ever deign to dwell where health
And active use are strangers? Is her charm
Confess'd in aught, whose most peculiar ends
Are lame and fruitless? Or did Nature mean
This pleasing call the herald of a lie;
To hide the shame of discord and disease,
And catch with fair hypocrisy the heart
Of idle faith? O not with better cares
The indulgent mother, conscious how infirm
Her offspring tread the paths of good and ill,
By this illustrious image, in each kind
Still most illustrious where the object holds
Its ive powers most perfect, she by this
Illumes the headstrong impulse of desire,
And sanctifies his choice. The generous glebe
Whose bosom smiles with verdure, the clear tract
Of streams delicious to the thirsty soul,
The bloom of nectar'd fruitage ripe to sense,
And every charm of animated things,
Are only pledges of a state sincere,
The integrity and order of their frame,
When all is well within, and every end
Accomplish’d. Thus was Beauty sent from Heaven,
The lovely ministress of truth and good
In this dark world : for truth and good are one,
And Beauty dwells in them, and they in her,
With like participation. Wherefore then,
O sons of Earth! would ye dissolve the tie?
O wherefore, with a rash impetuous aim,
Seek ye those flowery joys with which the hand

Of lavish Fancy paints each flattering scene
Where Beauty seems to dwell, nor once inquire
Where is the sanction of eternal truth,
Or where the seal of undeceitful good,
To save your search from folly! Wanting these,
Lo! Beauty withers in your void embrace,
And with the glittering of an idiot's toy
Did Fancy mock your vows.

Nor let the gleam
Of youthful hope, that shines upon your hearts,
Be chill'd or clouded at this aweful task,
To learn the lore of undeceitful good,
And truth eternal. Though the poisonous charms
Of baleful Superstition guide the feet
Of servile numbers, through a dreary way
To their abode, through deserts, thorns, and mire;
And leave the wretched pilgrim all forlorn
To muse at last, amid the ghostly gloom
Of graves, and hoary vaults, and cloister'd cells;
To walk with spectres through the midnight shade,
And to the screaming owl's accursed song
Attune the dreadful workings of his heart;
Yet be not ye dismay’d. A gentler star
Your lovely search illumines. From the grove
Where Wisdom talk'd with her Athenian sons,
Could my ambitious hand intwine a wreath,
Of Plato's olive with the Mantuan bay,
Then should my powerful verse at once dispel
Those monkish horrours : then in light divine
Disclose the Elysian prospect, where the steps
Of those whom Nature charms, through blooming

walks, Through fragrant mountains and poetic streams,

Amid the train of sages, heroes, bards,
Led by their winged Genius and the choir
Of laurell’d Science, and harmonious Art,
Proceed, exulting, to the eternal shrine,
Where Truth conspicuous with her sister-twins,
The undivided partners of her sway,
With Good and Beauty reigns. O let not us,
Lull’d by luxurious Pleasure's languid strain,
Or crouching to the frowns of Bigot-rage,
O let us not a moment pause to join
That godlike band. And if the gracious power
Who first awaken'd my untutor'd song,
Will to my invocation breathe anew
The tuneful spirit; then through all our paths,
Ne'er shall the sound of this devoted lyre
Be wanting ; whether on the rosy mead,
When Summer smiles, to warn the melting heart
Of Luxury's allurement ; whether firm
Against the torrent and the stubborn hill
To urge bold Virtue's unremitted nerve,
And wake the strong divinity of soul
That conquers Chance and Fate ; or whether struck
For sounds of triumph, to proclaim her toils
Upon the lofty summit, round her brow
To twine the wreath of incorruptive praise ;
To trace her hallow'd light through future worlds,
And bless Heaven's image in the heart of man,

Thus with a faithful aim have we presum'd,
Adventurous, to delineate Nature's form;
Whether in vast, majestic pomp array'd,
Or drest for pleasing wonder, or serene
In Beauty's rosy smile. It now remains,

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