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Oh! Sovereign* of the willing soul,
And frantic Passions hear thy soft controul.
And drop'd his thirsty lance at thy command.
Of Jove, thy magic lulls the feather'd king
The terror of his beak, and light'nings of his eye.
Thee the voice, the dance, obey,
Temper'd to thy warbled lay.
O'er Idalia's velvet-green
The rosy-crowned Loves are seen
On Cytherea's day,
With antic Sports, and blue-eyed Pleasures,
Frisking light in frolic measures;
Now pursuing, now retreating,
Now in circling troops they meet:
* Power of harmony to calm the turbulent sallies of the soul.
To brisk notes in cadence beating,
Glance their many-twinkling feet.
Slow melting strains their Queen's approach declare:
With arms sublime, that float upon the air,
O'er her warm cheek, and rising bosom, move
The bloom of young Desire, and purple light of Love.
Man's feeble race what ills* await!
Labour, and Penury, the racks of Pain,
Disease, and Sorrow's weeping train,
And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate!
Say, has he given in vain the heav'nly Muse?
Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry,
Till down the eastern cliffs afar
Hyperion's march they spy, and glitt'ring shafts of war.
* To compensate the real and imaginary ills of life, the Muse was given to mankind by the same Providence that sends the Day by its cheerful presence to dispel the gloom and terrors of the Night.
In climes beyond the solar road,
Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam,
To cheer the shivering Native's dull abode.
She deigns to hear the savage Youth repeat,
Their feather-cinctur'd Chiefs, and dusky Loves.
Glory pursue, and generous Shame,
Th' unconquerable Mind, and Freedom's holy flame.
Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep,†
Isles, that crown th' Ægean deep,
Fields, that cool Ilissus laves,
Or where Mæander's amber waves
How do your tuneful Echoes languish,
* Extensive influence of poetic Genius over the remotest and most uncivilized nations: its connection with liberty, and the virtues that naturally attend on it.
+ Progress of Poetry from Greece to Italy, and from Italy to England.
Where each old poetic Mountain
Ev'ry shade and hallow'd Fountain
Till the sad Nine, in Greece's evil hour,
They sought, oh Albion! next, thy sea-encircled coast.
- Far from the sun and summer-gale,
In thy green lap was Nature's darling* laid,
Her awful face: the dauntless child
This pencil take (she said) whose colours clear
Thine too these golden keys, immortal Boy!
Of Horror that, and thrilling Fears,
Or ope the sacred source of sympathetic Tears.
Nor second He,* that rode sublime
He pass'd the flaming bounds of Place and Time:
Closed his eyes in endless night.
Behold where Dryden's less presumptuous car
Wide o'er the fields of Glory bear
Two Coursers of ethereal race,
With necks in thunder cloth'd, and long-resounding pace
Hark, his hands the lyre explore!
Bright-eyed Fancy, hovering o'er,
Scatters from her pictur'd urn
Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.
But ah! 'tis heard no more
Oh! Lyre divine, what daring Spirit
Wakes thee now? Though he inherit