« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
While Argos saw her kindred trees
Descend from Pelion to the main.
Transported demi-gods stood round,
And men grew heroes at the sound,
Inflamed with glory's charms;
Each chief his sevenfold shield displayed
And half-unsheathed the shining blade;
And seas, and rocks and skies, rebound,
To arms! to arms! to arms!
But when through all the 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 woe,
And cries of tortured ghosts.
But hark! he strikes the golden lyre;
And see! the tortured ghosts respire,
See shady forms advance!
Thy stone, O Sisyphus, stands still,
Ixion rests upon his wheel,
And the pale spcetres dance!
The Furies sink upon their iron beds,
And snakes, uncurled, hang listening round their heads.
By the streams that ever flow,
By the fragrant winds that blow
O'er the Elysian flowers:
By those happy souls who dwell
In yellow meads of Asphodel,
Ór Amaranthine bowers,
By the heroes' armed shades,
Glittering through the gloomy glades:
By the youths that die for love,
Wandering in the myrtle grove
Restore, restore Eurydice to life;
O take the husband, or return the wife!
He sung, and hell consented
To hear the poet's prayer;
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,
Besides 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 and glows,
Amidst Rhodope's snows:
See wild as the winds, o'er the desert he flies;
Hark! Hæmus resounds with the Bacchanal's cries
Yet e'en 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 choir,
The immortal powers incline their ear:
Borne on their 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 given:
His numbers rais'd a shade from hell,
Hers lift the soul to heaven.
7, THE DYING CHRISTIAN TO HIS SOUL.
Vital spark of heavenly flame!
Quit, oh quit this mortal frame :
Trembling, hoping, lingering, flying,
Oh the pain, the bliss of dying!
Cease, fond Nature, cease thy strife,
And let me languish into life.
Hark! they whisper! angels say,
"Sister spirit, come away!
What is this absorbs me quite ?
Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
Drowns my spirit, draws iny breath ?
Tell me, my soul, can this be death?
The world recedes: it disappears!
Heaven opens on my eyes! my ears
With sounds seraphic ring:
Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly!
O grave! where is thy victory?
Ŏ death! where is thy sting?
8. THE MESSIAH.
Ye nymphs of Solyma, begin the song!
To heavenly themes sublimer strains belong.
The mossy fountains, and the sylvan shades,
The dreams of Pindus, and the Aonian maids,
Delight no more. O Thou my voice inspire,
Who touch'd Isaiah's hallow'd lips with fire!
Rapt into future times, the bard begun :
A virgin shall conceive, a virgin bear a son!
From Jesse's root behold a branch arise,
Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies;
The ethereal spirit o'er its leaves shall move,
And on its top descends the mystic dove.
Ye heavens, from high the dewy nectar pour,
And in soft silence shed the kindly shower!
The sick and weak the healing plant shall aid,
From storms a shelter, and from heat a shade.
All crimes shall cease, and ancient fraud shall fail,
Returning Justice lift aloft her scale;
Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend,
And white-rob'd Innocence from heaven descend.
Swift fly the years, and rise the expected morn!
Oh, spring to light, auspicious babe, be born!
See Nature haste her earliest wreaths to bring,
With all the incense of the breathing spring;
See lofty Lebanon his head advance;
See nodding forests on the mountains dance:
See spicy clouds from lowly Saron rise,
And Carmel's flowery top perfumes the skies!
Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers:
Prepare the way! a God, a God appears!
A God, a God! the vocal hills reply;
The rocks proclaim the approaching deity.
Lo, earth receives him from the bending skies!
Sink down, ye mountains; and ye valleys, rise!
With heads declin'd, ye cedars, homage pay:
Be smooth, ye rocks; ye rapid floods, give way!
The Saviour comes, by ancient bards foretold;
Hear him, ye deaf! and, all ye blind, behold!
He from thick films shall purge the visual ray,
And on the sightless eyeball pour the day:
'Tis he the obstructed paths of sound shall clear,
And bid new music charm the unfolding ear:
The dumb shall sing, the lame his crutch forego,
And leap exulting like the bounding roe.
No sigh, no murmur, the wide world shall hear;
From every face he wipes off every tear.
In adamantine chains shall death be bound,
And hell's grim tyraut feel the eternal wound,
As the good shepherd tends his fleecy care,
Seeks freshest pasture, and the purest air,
Explores the lost, the wandering sheep directs,
By day o'ersees them, and by night protects;
The tender lambs he raises in his arms,
Feeds from his hand, and in his bosom warms;
Thus shall mankind his guardian care engage,
The promis'd father of the future age.
No more shall nation against nation rise,
Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful eyes,
Nor fields with gleaming steel be cover'd o'er,
The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more:
But useless lances into scythes shall bend,
And the broad falchion in a ploughshare end
Then palaces shall rise; the joyful son
Shall finish what his short-liv'd sire begun ;
Their vines a shadow to their race shall yield,
And the same hand that sow'd, shall reap the field.
The swain in barren deserts with surprise
Sees lilies spring, and sudden verdure rise,
And starts, amidst the thirsty wilds, to hear
New falls of water murmuring in his ear.
On rifted rocks, the dragon's late abodes,
The green reed trembles, and the bulrush nods;
Waste sandy valleys, once perplex'd with thorn,
The spiry fir and shapely box adorn;
To leafless shrubs the flowering palms succeed,
And od❜rous myrtle to the noisome weed.
The lambs with wolves shall graze the verdant mead,
And boys in flowery bands the tiger lead;
The steer and lion at one crib shall meet,
And harmless serpents lick the pilgrim's feet;
The smiling infant in his hand shall take
The crested basilisk and speckled snake,