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But hark! he strikes the golden lyre,
And, see! the tortur'd ghosts respire;
See shady forms advance !
Thy stone, O Sisyphus! stands still,
Ixion rests upon his wheel,
And the pale spectres dance;
The Furies sink upon their iron beds,
And snakes uncurl'd hang list’ning round their heads.
By the streams that ever flow,
By the fragrant winds that blow
O'er th' Elysian flow'rs;
By those happy souls who dwell
In yellow meads of asphodel,
Or amaranthine bow'rs;
By the heroes' armed shades
Glitt'ring thro' the gloomy glades;
By the youths that dy'd for love,
Wand'ring in the myrtle grove,
Restore, restore Eurydice to life;
Oh, take the husband, or return the wife!
He sung, and hell consented
To hear the poet's pray'r;
Stern Proserpine relented,
And gave him back the fair.
O'er death and o'er hell,
A conquest how hard and how glorious !
Tho' 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,
Beside 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, he glows,
Amidst Rhodope's snows :
See, wild as the winds o'er the desart he flies; 110
Hark! Hæmus resounds with the Bacchanals' eries....
Ah see, he dies!
Yet ev'n in death Eurydice he sung,
Eurydice still trembled on his tongue;
Eurydice the woods,
115 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 quire,
Th' immortal pow'rs incline their ear;
Borne on the swelling notes our souls aspire,
While solemn airs improve the sacred fire,
And ange's lean from heav'n to hear.
Of Orpheus now no more let poets tell;
To bright Cecilia greater pow'r is giv'n:
His numbers rais'd a shade from hell,
Her's lift the soul to heay'p.
Written when the Author was about twelve years old.
HAPPY the man whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound, Content to breathe his native air
In his own ground.
Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread, 5
Whose flocks supply him with attire, Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.
Bless'd, who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years, slide soft away, In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day.
Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mix'd; sweet recreation ; And innocence, which most does please,
Thus let me live, unseen, unknown,
Thus unlamented let me die ;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.
THE DYING CHRISTIAN TO HIS SOUL.
VITAL spark of heav'nly flame!
Quit, oh quit this mortal frame !
Trembling, hoping, ling'ring, flying;
Oh the pain, the bliss of dying!
Cease, fond Nature! cease thy strife,
And let me lauguish 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 spirits, draws
breath? Tell me, my Soul! can this be Death ?
The world recedes; it disappears !
Heav'n opens on my eyes! my ears
With sounds seraphic ring :
Lend, lend your wings ! I mount! I fly!
O Grave! where is thy victory?
O Death! where is thy sting ?