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Thou great inspirer of the poet's song!
In vain APOLLO dictates, and the Nine
Attend in vain, unless thy mighty hand
Direct the tuneful lyre. Without thy aid
The canvas breathes no longer. Mulic's charms,
Uninfluenc'd by thee, forget to please :
Thou giv'st the organ found; by thee the flute
Breathes harmony; the tuneful viol owns
Thy pow'rful touch. The warbling voice is thine:
Thou gav'st to Nicolini every grace,
And every charm to Farinelli's song.
By thee the lawyer pleads. The foldier's arm
Is nerv'd by thee. Thy pow'r the gownman feels,
And, urg'd by thee, unfolds heav'n's mystic truths.
The haughty fair, that swells with proud disdain,
And smiles at mischiefs which her eyes have made,
Thou humbleft to submit and bless mankind.

Hail, pow'r omnipotent! me uninvok'd
Thou deign'st to visit, far, alas! unfit
To bear thy awful presence. O, retire!
At distance let me view thee; left too nigh,
I link beneath the terrors of thy face.

B

MAY. ETHEREAL daughter of the lufty spring,

And sweet Favonius, ever gentle MAY!
Shall I, unblam'd, presume of thee to fing..

And with thy living colours gild my lay?
Thy genial fpirit mantles in my brain;
My numbers languish in a softer vein:
I pant, too emulous, to flow in Spenser's strain.
Say, mild Aurora of the blooming year,

With storms when winter blackens nature's face When whirling winds the howling forest tear,

And shake the solid mountains from their base: Say, what refulgent chambers of the sky Veil thy beloved glories from the eye, For which the nations pine, and earth's fair children

die? Where Leda's twins, forth from their diamond tow'r,

Alternate o'er the night their beams divide; In light embosom’d, happy, and secure

From winter rage, thou choosest to abide. Bleft residence! for, there, as poets tell, The pow'rs of poetry and wisdom dwell; Apollo wakes the arts; the muses strike the shell. Certes o’er Rhedicyna's laurell’d mead,

(For ever spread, ye laurels, green and new!) The brother stars their gracious nurture shed,

And secret blessings of poetic dew. They bathe their horses in the learned fiood, With flame recruited for the ethereal road, And deem fair Isis' swans fair as their father god. No sooner APRIL, trimm'd with garlands gay,

Rains fragrance o’erthe world, and kindly thow'rs; But, in the eastern pride of beauty, MAY,

To gladden earth, forfakes her heav'nly bow'rs, Restoring nature from her palsy'd state. APRIL, retire ; ne longer nature wait; Soon may she issue from the morning's golden gate. Come, bounteous May! in fulness of thy might,

Lead briskly on the mirth-infusing hours, All-recent from the bofom of delight,

With nectar nurtur'd; and involv'd in flow'rs: By spring's sweet blush; by nature's teeming womb; By Hebe’s dimply smile; by Flora's bloom ; By Venus' self (for Venus' self demands thee) come! By the warm fighs, in dewy even-tide,

Of melting maidens in the woodbine groves, To pity loosen'd, foften'd down from pride;

By billing turtles, and by cooing doves; By the youth's plainings ftealing on the air, (For youths will plain, though yielding be the fair) Hither to bless the maidens and the youths repair. With dew bespangled, by the hawthorn buds,

With freshness breathing, by the daisy'd plains, By the mix'd music of the warbling woods,

And jovial roundelays of nymphs and swains; In thy full energy, and rich array, Delight of earth and heaven! O blessed MAY! From heav'n defcend to earth: on earth vouchsafe

to stay. She comes !-a filken camus, em'ral’d-green,

Gracefully loose, adown her shoulders flows, (Fit to enfold the limbs of Paphos' Queen)

And with the labours of the needle glows, Purfled by nature's hand! the amorous air And mulky western breezes fast repair, Her mantle proud to swell, and wanton with her

hair. Her hair (but rather threads of light it seems)

With the gay honours of the spring entwin'd, Copious, unbound, in nectar'd ringlets streams,

Floats glitt’ring on the sun, and scents the wind, Love-fick with odours !-Now to order roll’d, It melts upon her bosom's dainty mould, Or, curling round her wafty, disparts its wavy gold. Young circling roses, blushing round them throw

The sweet abundance of their purple rays, And lilies, dipp'd in fragrance, freshly blow,

With blended beauties in her angel face. The humid radiance beaming from her eyes The air and seas illuines, the earth and skies; And open, when the fmiles, the sweets of Paradise. On Zephyr's wing the laughing goddess view,

Distilling balm. She cleaves the buxom air, Attended by the silver-footed dew,

The ravages of winter to repair. She gives her naked bofom to the gales, Her naked bosom down the ether lails; Her bofom breathes delight; her breath the spring

exhales. All as the phænix in Arabian skies,

New-burnish'd from his fpicy funeral pyres, At large, in roseal undulation flies;

His plumage dazzles and the gazer tires : Around their king the plumy nations wait, Attend his triumph, and augment his state: He tow'ring, claps his wings, and wins th' ethereal

height. So round this phænix of the gaudy year,

A thousand, nay, ten thousand sports and fimiles, Fluttering in gold, along the hemisphere,

lier praises chaunt: her praises glad the illes. Conscious of her approach (to deck her bow'rs) Earth from her fruitful lap and bofom pours A waste of springing sweets, and voluntary flow'rs. Narcissus fair, in snowy velvet gown'd;

Ah foolish! still to love the fountain-brim : Sweet hyacinth, by Phæbus erst bemoan'd;

And tulip, flaring in her powder'd trim. Whate’er, Armida, in thy gardens blew; Whate'er the sun inhales, or fips the dew; Whate'er compose the chaplet on IANTHES' brow

He who undaz'd can wander o'er her face,

May gaze upon the folar blaze at noon!
What inore than female sweetness and a grace

Peculiar! save, Ianthe, thine alone,
Ineffable effufion of the day!
So

very much the same, that lovers say,
May is IANTHE; or the dear IANTHE, MAY.
So far as doth the harbinger of day

The lesser lamps of night in sheen excel; So far in sweetness and in beauty MAY,

Above all other months, doth bear the bell;
So far as MAY doth other months exceed,
So far in virtue and in goodlihead,
Above all other nymphs, IANTHE bears the meed.
Welcome! as to a youthful poet, wine,

To fire his fancy and enlarge his soul:
He weaves the laurel-chaplet with the vine,

And grows immortal as he drains the bowl.
Welcome! as beauty to the love-fick swain,
For which he long had sigh’d, but figh’d in vain ;
He darts into her arms ; quick vanishes his pain.
The drowsy elements, arouz’d by thee,

Roll to harmonious measures, active all! Earth, water, air, and fire, with feeling glee,

Exult to celebrate thy festival. Fire glows intenser; fofter blows the air, More smooth the waters flow; earth smiles more

fair : Earth, water, air, and fire, thy glad'ning impulfe

share. What boundless tides of splendour o’er the skies,

O'erflowing brightness ! Itream their golden rays! Heav’n’s azure kindles with the varying dies,

Reflects the glory, and returns the blaze.
Air whitens; wide the tracts of ether been
With colours damask'd rich, and goodly Theen,
And all above is blue, and all below is green.

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