Obrazy na stronie

She wheels her giddy empire.-Lo! thus far
With bold adventure, to the Mantuan lyre
I sing of Nature's charms, and touch well-pleas'd
A stricter note: now haply must my song
Unbend her serious measure, and reveal
In lighter strains, how Folly's awkward arts
Excite impetuous Laughter's gay rebuke;
The sportive province of the comic Muse.

See! in what crowds the uncouth forms advance:
Each would outstrip the other, each prevent
Our careful search, and offer to your gaze,
Unask'd, his motley features. Wait awhile,
My curious friends! and let us first arrange,
In proper order, your promiscuous throng.

Behold the foremost band; of slender thought, And easy faith; whom flattering Fancy soothes With lying spectres, in themselves to view Illustrious forms of excellence and good, That scorn the mansion. With exulting hearts They spread their spurious treasures to the Sun, And bid the world admire! but chief the glance Of wishful Envy draws their joy-bright eyes, And lifts with self-applause each lordly brow. In numbers boundless as the blooms of spring, Behold their glaring idols, empty shades By Fancy gilded o'er, and then set up For adoration. Some in Learning's garb, With formal band, and sable-cinctur'd gown, And rags of mouldy volumes. Some elate With martial splendor, steely pikes and swords Of costly frame, and gay Phoenician robes Inwrought with flowery gold, assume the port of stately Valor: listening by his side There stands a female form; to her, with looks Of earnest import, pregnant with amaze, He talks of deadly deeds, of breaches, storms, And sulphurous mines, and ambush: then at once Breaks off, and smiles to see her look so pale, And asks some wondering question of her fears. Others of graver mien; behold, adorn'd With holy ensigns, how sublime they move, And, bending oft their sanctimonious eyes, Take homage of the simple-minded throng; Ambassadors of Heaven! Nor much unlike Is he whose visage, in the lazy mist That mantles every feature, hides a brood Of politic conceits; of whispers, nods, And hints deep-omen'd with unwieldy schemes, And dark portents of state. Ten thousand more, Prodigious habits and tumultuous tongues, Pour dauntless in, and swell the boastful band.

Then comes the second order, all who seek The debt of praise, where watchful Unbelief Darts through the thin pretence her squinting eye Oit some retir'd appearance, which belies The boasted virtue, or annuls the applause That Justice else would pay. Here side by side I see two leaders of the solemn train Approaching: one a female old and grey, With eyes demure, and wrinkle-furrow'd brow, Pale as the cheeks of Death; yet still she stuns The sickening audience with a nauseous tale; How many youths her myrtle-chains have worn, How many virgins at her triumphs pin'd! Yet how resolv'd she guards her cautious heart; Such is her terror at the risks of love, And man's seducing tongue! The other seems A bearded sage, ungentle in his mien, And sordid all his habit; peevish Want Grins at his heels, while down the gazing throng He stalks, resounding in magnific phrase

The vanity of riches, the contempt

Of pomp and power. Be prudent in your zeal,
Ye grave associates! let the silent grace
Of her who blushes at the fond regard
Her charms inspire, more eloquent unfold
The praise of spotless honor: let the man
Whose eye regards not his illustrious pomp
And ample store, but as indulgent streams
To cheer the barren soil and spread the fruits
Of joy, let him by juster measures fix
The price of riches and the end of power.

Another tribe succeeds; deluded long
By Fancy's dazzling optics, these behold
The images of some peculiar things
With brighter hues resplendent, and portray'd
With features nobler far than e'er adorn'd
Their genuine objects. Hence the fever'd heart
Pants with delirious hope for tinsel charms;
Hence oft, obtrusive on the eye of Scorn,
Untimely Zeal her witless pride betrays!
And serious manhood from the towering aim
Of Wisdom, stoops to emulate the boast
Of childish toil. Behold yon mystic form,
Bedeck'd with feathers, insects, weeds, and shells!
Not with intenser view the Samian sage
Bent his fixt eye on Heaven's intenser fires,
When first the order of that radiant scene
Swell'd his exulting thought, than this surveys
A muckworm's entrails or a spider's fang.
Next him a youth, with flowers and myrtles crown'd
Attends that virgin form, and blushing kneels,
With fondest gesture and a suppliant's tongue,
To win her coy regard: adieu, for him,
The dull engagements of the bustling world!
Adieu the sick impertinence of praise!
And hope, and action! for with her alone,

By streams and shades, to steal these sighing hours,
Is all he asks, and all that Fate can give!
Thee too, facetious Momion, wandering here,
Thee, dreaded censor, oft have I beheld
Bewilder'd unawares: alas! too long
Flush'd with thy comic triumphs and the spoils
Of sly Derision! till on every side
Hurling thy random bolts, offended Truth
Assign'd thee here thy station with the slaves
Of Folly. Thy once formidable name
Shall grace her humble records, and be heard
In scoffs and mockery, bandied from the lips
Of all the vengeful brotherhood around,
So oft the patient victims of thy scorn.

But now, ye gay! to whom indulgent Fate,
Of all the Muse's empire, hath assign'd
The fields of folly, hither each advance
Your sickles; here the teeming soil affords
Its richest growth. A favorite brood appears;
In whom the demon, with a mother's joy,
Views all her charms reflected, all her cares
At full repaid. Ye most illustrious band!
Who, scorning Reason's tame, pedantic rules,
And Order's vulgar bondage, never meant
For souls sublime as yours, with generous zeal
Pay Vice the reverence Virtue long usurp'd,
And yield Deformity the fond applause
Which Beauty wont to claim; forgive my song,
That for the blushing diffidence of youth,
It shuns the unequal province of your praise.

Thus far triumphant in the pleasing guile
Of bland Imagination, Folly's train
Have dar'd our search: but now a dastard kind
Advance reluctant, and with faltering feet
Shrink from the gazer's eye; enfeebled hearts

Whom Fancy chills with visionary fears,
Or bends to servile tameness with conceits
Of shame, of evil, or of base defect,
Fantastic and delusive. Here the slave
Who droops abash'd when sullen Pomp surveys
His humbler habit; here the trembling wretch
Unnerv'd and struck with Terror's icy bolts,
Spent in weak wailings, drown'd in shameful tears,
At every dream of danger; here subdued
By frontless Laughter, and the hardy scorn
Of old, unfeeling Vice, the abject soul,
Who blushing half resigns the candid praise
Of Temperance and Honor; half disowns
A freeman's hatred of tyrannic pride;
And hears with sickly smiles the venal mouth
With foulest license mock the patriot's name.

Last of the motley bands on whom the power
Of gay Derision bends her hostile aim,
Is that where shameful Ignorance presides.
Beneath her sordid banners, lo! they march,
Like blind and lame. Whate'er their doubtful hands
Attempt, Confusion straight appears behind,
And troubles all the work. Through many a maze,
Perplex'd they struggle, changing every path,
O'erturning every purpose; then at last
Sit down dismay'd, and leave the entangled scene
For Scorn to sport with. Such then is the abode
Of Folly in the mind; and such the shapes
In which she governs her obsequious train.

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Through every scene of ridicule in things
To lead the tenor of my devious lay;
Through every swift occasion, which the hand
Of Laughter points at, when the mirthful sting
Distends her sallying nerves and chokes her tongue;
What were it but to count each crystal drop
Which Morning's dewy fingers on the blooms
Of May distil? Suffice it to have said,
Where'er the power of Ridicule displays
Her quaint-ey'd visage, some incongruous form,
Some stubborn dissonance of things combin'd,
Strikes on the quick observer : whether Pomp,
Or Praise, or Beauty, mix their partial claim
Where sordid fashions, where ignoble deeds,
Where foul deformity, are wont to dwell;
Or whether these with violation loth'd,
Invade resplendent Pomp's imperious mien,
The charms of Beauty, or the boast of Praise.

Ask we for what fair end, the Almighty Sire
In mortal bosoms wakes this gay contempt,
These grateful stings of laughter, from disgust
Educing pleasure? Wherefore, but to aid
The tardy steps of Reason, and at once
By this prompt impulse urge us to depress
The giddy aims of Folly? Though the light
Of Truth, slow dawning on the inquiring mind,
At length unfolds, through many a subtle tie,
How these uncouth disorders end at last
In public evil! yet benignant Heaven,
Conscious how dim the dawn of Truth appears
To thousands; conscious what a scanty pause
From labors and from care, the wider lot
Of humble life affords for studious thought
To scan the maze of Nature; therefore stamp'd
The glaring scenes with characters of scorn,
As broad, as obvious, to the passing clown,'
As to the letter'd sage's curious eye.

Such are the various aspects of the mindSome heavenly genius, whose unclouded thoughts Attain that secret harmony which blends The ethereal spirit with its mould of clay;

O! teach me to reveal the graceful charm That searchless Nature o'er the sense of man Diffuses, to behold, in lifeless things,

The inexpressive semblance of himself,

Of thought and passion. Mark the sable woods

That shade sublime yon mountain's nodding brow;
With what religious awe the solemn scene
Commands your steps! as if the reverend form
Of Minos or of Numa should forsake

The Elysian seats, and down the embowering glade
Move to your pausing eye! Behold the expanse
Of yon gay landscape, where the silver clouds
Flit o'er the heavens before the sprightly breeze :
Now their grey cincture skirts the doubtful Sun;
Now streams of splendor, through their opening veil
Effulgent, sweep from off the gilded lawn
The aerial shadows; on the curling brook,
And on the shady margin's quivering leaves
With quickest lustre glancing; while you view
The prospect, say, within your cheerful breast
Plays not the lively sense of winning mirth
With clouds and sun-shine chequer'd, while the round
Of social converse, to the inspiring tongue
Of some gay nymph amid her subject train,
Moves all obsequious? Whence is this effect,
This kindred power of such discordant things?
Or flows their semblance from that mystic tone
To which the new-born mind's harmonious powers
At first were strung? Or rather from the links
Which artful custom twines around her frame?
For when the different images of things,
By chance combin'd, have struck the attentive soul
With deeper impulse, or, connected long,
Have drawn her frequent eye; howe'er distinct
The external scenes, yet oft the ideas gain
From that conjunction an eternal tie,
And sympathy unbroken. Let the mind
Recall one partner of the various league,
Immediate, lo! the firm confederates rise,
And each his former station straight resumes.
One movement governs the consenting throng,
And all at once with rosy pleasures shine,
Or all are sadden'd with the glooms of care.
"Twas thus, if ancient Fame the truth unfold,
Two faithful needles, from the informing touch
Of the same parent-stone, together drew
Its mystic virtue, and at first conspir'd
With fatal impulse quivering to the Pole:
Then, though disjoin'd by kingdoms, though the main
Roll'd its broad surge betwixt, and different stars
Beheld their wakeful motions, yet preserv'd
The former friendship, and remember'd still
The alliance of their birth: whate'er the line
Which once possess'd, nor pause, nor quiet knew
The sure associate, ere with trembling speed
He found its path, and fix'd unerring there.
Such the secret union, when we feel
A song, a flower, a name, at once restore
Those long-connected scenes where first they mov'd
The attention: backward through her mazy walks
Guiding the wanton Fancy to her scope,
To temples, courts, or fields; with all the band
Of painted forms, of passions and designs
Attendant: whence, if pleasing in itself,
The prospect from that sweet accession gains
Redoubled influence o'er the listening mind.

By these mysterious ties the busy power Of Memory her ideal train preserves Entire; or when they would elude her watch, Reclaims their fleeting footsteps from the waste

Of dark oblivion; thus collecting all
The various forms of being to present,
Before the curious aim of mimic Art,
Their largest choice: like Spring's unfolded blooms
Exhaling sweetness, that the skilful bee
May taste at will, from their selected spoils
To work her dulcet food. For not the expanse
Of living lakes in Summer's noontide calm,
Reflects the bordering shade, and sun-bright heavens,
With fairer semblance; not the sculptur'd gold
More faithful keeps the graver's lively trace,
Than he, whose birth the sister powers of Art
Propitious view'd, and from his genial star
Shed influence to the seeds of fancy kind;
Than his attemper'd bosom must preserve
The seal of Nature. There alone unchang'd,
Her form remains. The balmy walks of May
There breathe perennial sweets: the trembling chord
Resounds for ever in the abstracted ear,
Melodious and the virgin's radiant eye,
Superior to disease, to grief, and time,
Shines with un'bating lustre. Thus at length
Endow'd with all that Nature can bestow,
The child of Fancy oft in silence bends
O'er these mixt treasures of his pregnant breast,
With conscious pride. From them he oft resolves
To frame he knows not what excelling things;
And win he knows not what sublime reward
Of praise and wonder. By degrees, the mind
Feels her young nerves dilate: the plastic powers
Labor for action: blind emotions heave
His bosom, and with loveliest frenzy caught,
From Earth to Heaven he rolls his daring eye,
From Heaven to Earth. Anon ten thousand shapes,
Like spectres trooping to the wizard's call,
Flit swift before him. From the womb of Earth,
From Ocean's bed, they come; the eternal Heavens
Disclose their splendors, and the dark Abyss
Pours out her births unknown. With fixed gaze
He marks the rising phantoms. Now compares
Their different forms; now blends them, now
Enlarges, and extenuates by turns;
Opposes, ranges in fantastic bands,
And infinitely varies. Hither now,
Now thither fluctuates his inconstant aim,

With endless choice perplex'd. At length his plan
Begins to open. Lucid order dawns;
And as from Chaos old the jarring seeds
Of Nature at the voice divine repair'd
Each to its place, till rosy Earth unveil'd
Her fragrant bosom, and the joyful Sun
Sprung up the blue serene; by swift degrees
Thus disentangled, his entire design
Emerges. Colors mingle, features join;
And lines converge: the fainter parts retire;
The fairer eminent in light advance;
And every image on its neighbor smiles.
Awhile he stands, and with a father's joy
Contemplates. Then with Promethean art,
Into its proper vehicle he breathes
The fair conception; which, embodied thus,
And permanent, becomes to eyes or ears
An object ascertain'd; while thus inform'd,
The various organs of his mimic skill,
The consonance of sounds, the featur'd rock,
The shadowy picture and impassion'd verse,
Beyond their proper powers attract the soul
By that expressive semblance, while in sight
Of Nature's great original we scan
The lively child of Art; while line by line,

And feature after feature, we refer
To that sublime exemplar whence it stole
Those animating charms. Thus beauty's palm
Betwixt them wavering hangs: applauding love
Doubts where to choose; and mortal man aspires
To tempt creative praise. As when a cloud
Of gathering hail, with limpid crusts of ice
Inclos'd and obvious to the beaming Sun,
Collects his large effulgence; straight the Heavens
With equal flames present on either hand
The radiant visage: Persia stands at gaze,
Appall'd; and on the brink of Ganges doubts
The snowy-vested seer, in Mithra's name,
To which the fragrance of the south shall burn,
To which his warbled orisons ascend.

Such various bliss the well-tun'd heart enjoys,
Favor'd of Heaven! while, plung'd in sordid cares
The unfeeling vulgar mocks the boon divine :
And harsh Austerity, from whose rebuke
Young Love and smiling Wonder shrink away
Abash'd, and chill of heart, with sager frowns
Condemns the fair enchantment. On my strain,
Perhaps even now, some cold fastidious judge
Casts a disdainful eye; and calls my toil,
And calls the love and beauty which I sing,
The dream of folly. Thou, grave censor! say,
Is Beauty then a dream, because the glooms
Of dullness hang too heavy on thy sense,
To let her shine upon thee? So the man
Whose eye ne'er open'd on the light of Heaven,
Might smile with scorn while raptur'd vision tells
Of the gay-color'd radiance flushing bright
O'er all creation. From the wise be far
Such gross unhallow'd pride; nor needs my song
Descend so low; but rather now unfold,
If human thought could reach, or words unfold,
By what mysterious fabric of the mind,
The deep-felt joys and harmony of sound
Result from airy motion; and from shape
The lovely phantoms of sublime and fair.
By what fine ties hath God connected things
When present in the mind, which in themselves
Have no connexion? Sure the rising Sun
O'er the cerulean convex of the sea,


With equal brightness and with equal warmth
Might roll his fiery orb; nor yet the soul
Thus feel her frame expanded, and her powers
Exulting in the splendor she beholds;

Like a young conqueror moving through the pomp
Of some triumphal day. When join'd at eve,
Soft murmuring streams and gales of gentlest breath
Melodious Philomela's wakeful strain
Attemper, could not man's discerning ear
Through all its tones the sympathy pursue;
Nor yet this breath divine of nameless joy
Steal through his veins, and fan the awaken'd heart,
Mild as the breeze, yet rapturous as the song?

But were not Nature still endow'd at large
With all which life requires, though unadorn'd
With such enchantment: wherefore then her form
So exquisitely fair? her breath perfum'd
With such ethereal sweetness? whence her voice
Inform'd at will to raise or to repress

The impassion'd soul? and whence the robes of light
Which thus invest her with more lovely pomp
Than fancy can describe? Whence but from thee,
O source divine of ever-flowing love,
And thy unmeasur'd goodness? Not content
With every food of life to nourish man,
By kind illusions of the wondering sense
Thou mak'st all nature beauty to his eye,

Or music to his ear: well-pleas'd he scans
The goodly prospect; and with inward smiles
Treads the gay verdure of the painted plain;
Beholds the azure canopy of Heaven,
And living lamps that over-arch his head
With more than regal splendor; bends his ears
To the full choir of water, air, and earth;
Nor heeds the pleasing error of his thought,
Nor doubts the painted green or azure arch,
Nor questions more the music's mingling sounds
Than space, or motion, or eternal time;
So sweet he feels their influence to attract
The fixed soul; to brighten the dull glooms
Of care, and make the destin'd road of life
Delightful to his feet. So fables tell,

The adventurous hero, bound on hard exploits,
Beholds with glad surprise, by secret spells
Of some kind sage, the patron of his toils,
A visionary paradise disclos'd

Amid the dubious wild with streams, and shades, And airy songs, the enchanted landscape smiles, Cheers his long labors, and renews his frame.

What then is taste, but these internal powers Active, and strong, and feelingly alive To each fine impulse? a discerning sense Of decent and sublime, with quick disgust From things deform'd, or disarrang'd, or gross In species? This, nor gems, nor stores of gold, Nor purple state, nor culture can bestow; But God alone when first his active hand Imprints the secret bias of the soul. He, mighty parent! wise and just in all, Free as the vital breeze or light of Heaven, Reveals the charms of Nature. Ask the swain Who journeys homeward from a summer day's Long labor, why, forgetful of his toils And due repose, he loiters to behold The sun-shine gleaming as through amber clouds, O'er all the western sky; full soon, I ween, His rude expression and untutor❜d airs, Beyond the power of language, will unfold The form of beauty smiling at his heart, How lovely! how commanding! But though Heaven In every breast hath sown these early seeds Of love and admiration, yet in vain, Without fair Culture's kind parental aid, Without enlivening suns, and genial showers, And shelter from the blast, in vain we hope The tender plant should rear its blooming head, Or yield the harvest promis'd in its spring. Nor yet will every soil with equal stores Repay the tiller's labor; or attend His will, obsequious, whether to produce The olive or the laurel. Different minds Incline to different objects: one pursues The vast alone, the wonderful, the wild; Another sighs for harmony, and grace, And gentlest beauty. Hence when lightning fires The arch of Heaven, and thunders rock the ground, When furious whirlwinds rend the howling air, And Ocean, groaning from his lowest bed, Heaves his tempestuous billows to the sky; Amid the mighty uproar, while below The nations tremble, Shakspeare looks abroad From some high cliff, superior, and enjoys The elemental war. But Waller longs, All on the margin of some flowery stream, To spread his careless limbs amid the cool Of plantain shades, and to the listening deer The tale of slighted vows and love's disdain Resound soft-warbling all the livelong day :

Consenting Zephyr sighs; the weeping rill
Joins in his plaint, melodious; mute the groves;
And hill and dale with all their echoes mourn.
Such and so various are the tastes of men.

Oh! blest of Heaven, whom not the languid songs
Of Luxury, the syren! not the bribes
Of sordid Wealth, nor all the gaudy spoils
Of pageant Homer, can seduce to leave
Those ever-blooming sweets, which from the store
Of Nature fair Imagination culls

To charm the enliven'd soul! What though not all
Of mortal offspring can attain the heights
Of envied life; though only few possess
Patrician treasures or imperial state;

Yet Nature's care, to all her children just,
With richer treasures and an ampler state,
Endows at large whatever happy man
Will deign to use them. His the city's pomp,
The rural honors his. Whate'er adorns
The princely dome, the column and the arch,
The breathing marbles and the sculptur'd gold,
Beyond the proud possessor's narrow claim,
His tuneful breast enjoys. For him, the spring
Distils her dews, and from the silken gem
Its lucid leaves unfolds: for him, the hand
Of Autumn tinges every fertile branch
With blooming gold, and blushes like the morn.
Each passing hour sheds tribute from her wings;
And still new beauties meet his lonely walk,
And loves unfelt attract him. Not a breeze
Flies o'er the meadow, not a cloud imbibes
The setting Sun's effulgence, not a strain
From all the tenants of the warbling shade
Ascends, but whence his bosom can partake
Fresh pleasure, unreprov'd. Nor thence partakes
Fresh pleasure only for the attentive mind,
By this harmonious action on her powers,
Becomes herself harmonious: wont so oft
In outward things to meditate the charm
Of sacred order, soon she seeks at home
To find a kindred order, to exert
Within herself this elegance of love,
This fair inspir'd delight: her temper'd powers
Refine at length, and every passion wears
A chaster, milder, more attractive mien.
But if to ampler prospects, if to gaze
On Nature's form, where, negligent of all
These lesser graces, she assumes the port
Of that eternal majesty that weigh'd
The world's foundations, if to these the mind
Exalts her daring eye; then mightier far
Will be the change, and nobler. Would the forms
Of servile custom cramp her generous powers?
Would sordid policies, the barbarous growth
Of ignorance and rapine, bow her down
To tame pursuits, to indolence and fear?
Lo! she appeals to Nature, to the winds
And rolling waves, the Sun's unwearied course,
The elements and seasons: all declare
For what the eternal Maker has ordain'd
The powers of man: we feel within ourselves
His energy divine: he tells the heart,
He meant, he made us to behold and love
What he beholds and loves, the general orb
Of life and being; to be great like him,
Beneficent and active. Thus the men
Whom Nature's works can charm, with God himself.
Hold converse; grow familiar, day by day,
With his conceptions, act upon his plan;
And form to his, the relish of their souls.
3 E 2




THE wise and great of every clime,
Through all the spacious walks of Time,
Where'er the Muse her power display'd,
With joy have listen'd and obey'd.
For, taught of Heaven, the sacred Nine
Persuasive numbers, forms divine,

To mortal sense impart : They best the soul with glory fire; They noblest counsels, boldest deeds inspire; And high o'er Fortune's rage enthrone the fixed heart.

Nor less prevailing is their charm
The vengeful bosom to disarm;
To melt the proud with human woe,
And prompt unwilling tears to flow.
Can wealth a power like this afford?
Can Cromwell's arts, or Marlborough's sword,
An equal empire claim?

No, Hastings. Thou my words will own:
Thy breast the gifts of every Muse hath known;
Nor shall the giver's love disgrace thy noble name.

The Muse's awful art,

And the blest function of the poet's tongue, Ne'er shalt thou blush to honor; to assert From all that scorned Vice or slavish Fear hath

To listening gods he makes him known,
That man divine, by whom were sown
The seeds of Grecian fame :
Who first the race with freedom fir'd;
From whom Lycurgus Sparta's sons inspir'd;
From whom Platean palms and Cyprian trophies

sung. Nor shall the blandishment of Tuscan strings Warbling at will in Pleasure's myrtle bower; Nor shall the servile notes to Celtic kings

By flattering minstrels paid in evil hour, Move thee to spurn the heavenly Muse's reign.

A different strain,
And other themes,

From her prophetic shades and hallow'd streams,
(Thou well canst witness) meet the purged ear:
Such, as when Greece to her immortal shell
Rejoicing listen'd, godlike sounds to hear;

To hear the sweet instructress tell
(While men and heroes throng'd around)
How life its noblest use may find,
How well for freedom be resign'd;
And how, by Glory, Virtue shall be crown'd.


Such was the Chian father's strain
To many a kind domestic train,
Whose pious hearth and genial bowl
Had cheer'd the reverend pilgrim's soul:
When, every hospitable rite

With equal bounty to requite,

Now oft, where happy spirits dwell, Where yet he tunes his charming shell, Oft near him, with applauding hands, The Genius of his country stands.


O noblest, happiest age!

When Aristides rul'd, and Cimon fought; When all the generous fruits of Homer's page Exulting Pindar saw to full perfection brought. O Pindar, oft shalt thou be hail'd of me:

He struck his magic strings;
And pour'd spontaneous numbers forth,
And seiz'd their ears with tales of ancient worth,
And fill'd their musing hearts with vast heroic things.

Not that Apollo fed thee from his shrine ; Not that thy lips drank sweetness from the bee, Nor yet that, studious of thy notes divine, Pan danc'd their measure with the sylvan throng But that thy song

Was proud to unfold

What thy base rulers trembled to behold;
Amid corrupted Thebes was proud to tell
The deeds of Athens and the Persian shame :
Hence on thy head their impious vengeance fell
But thou, O faithful to thy fame,

The Muse's law didst rightly know;
That who would animate his lays,
And other minds to virtue raise,
Must feel his own with all her spirit glow.


Are there, approv'd of later times,
Whose verse adorn'd a tyrant's* crimes?
Who saw majestic Rome betray'd,
And lent the imperial ruffian aid?
Alas! not one polluted bard,
No, not the strains that Mincius heard,
Or Tibur's hills replied,
Dare to the Muse's ear aspire ;

Save that, instructed by the Grecian lyre, With Freedom's ancient notes their shameful task they hide.

Mark, how the dread Pantheon stands,

Amid the domes of modern hands:
Amid the toys of idle state,
How simply, how severely great!

Then turn, and, while each western clime
Presents her tuneful sons to Time,

So mark thou Milton's name ; And add, "Thus differs from the throng The spirit which inform'd thy awful song, Which bade thy potent voice protect thy country's


Yet hence barbaric Zeal

His memory with unholy rage pursues;

While from these arduous cares of public weal She bids each bard begone, and rest him with his


O fool! to think the man, whose ample mind Must grasp at all that yonder stars survey; Must join the noblest forms of every kind, The world's most perfect image to display, Can e'er his country's majesty behold, Unmov'd or cold!

O fool! to deem

That he, whose thought must visit every theme,

* Octavianus Cæsar

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