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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 powers incline their ear;
Borne on the 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.
WRITTEN WHEN THE AUTHOR WAS ABOUT TWELVE
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,
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.
TO THE AUTHOR OF A POEM ENTITLED
BEGONE, ye critics, and restrain your spite,
Codrus writes on, and will for ever write.
The heaviest Muse the swiftest course has gone,
As clocks run fastest when most lead is on.
What though no bees around your cradle flew,
Nor on your lips distill’d their golden dew;
Yet have we oft discover'd in their stead
A swarm of drones that buzz'd about your head.
When you, like Orpheus, strike the warbling lyre,
Attentive blocks stand round
and admire. Wit pass'd through thee no longer is the same, As meat digested takes a different name: But sense must sure thy safest plunder be, Since no reprisals can be made on thee. Thus thou mayst rise, and in thy daring flight (Tho' ne'er so weighty) reach a wondrous height: So fórc'd from engines, lead itself can fly, And ponderous slugs move nimbly thro’ the sky. Sure Bavius copied Mævius to the full, And Chærilus 2 taught Codrus to be dull; Therefore, dear friend, at my advice give o'er This needless labour; and contend no more To prove a dull succession to be true, Since 'tis enough we find it so in you.
ODE. THE DYING CHRISTIAN TO HIS SOUL,
VITAL spark of heavenly flame,
Quit, О 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 spirits, draws my
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?
O death! where is thy sting?
TWO CHORUSES TO THE TRAGEDY OF
YE shades, where sacred truth is sought,
Groves, where immortal sages taught,
Where heavenly visions Plato fir'd,
And Epicurus lay inspira !
In vain your guiltless laurels stood
Unspotted long with human blood.
War, horrid war, your thoughtful walks invades,
And steel now glitters in the Muses' shades.
1 A play written by John Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham.
O heaven-born sisters ! source of art!
Who charm the sense, or mend the heart;
Who lead fair virtue's train along,
Moral truth and mystic song!
To what new clime, what distant sky,
Forsaken, friendless, shall ye fly?
Say, will ye bless the bleak Atlantic shore ?
Or bid the furious Gaul be rude no more?
When Athens sinks by fates unjust,
When wild Barbarians spurn her dust ;
Perhaps e'en Britain's utmost shore
Shall cease to blush with strangers' gore,
See arts her savage sons control,
And Athens rising near the pole !
Till some new tyrant lifts his purple hand,
And civil madness tears them from the land.
Ye gods! what justice rules the ball ?
Freedom and arts together fall ;
Fools grant whate'er ambition craves,
And men, once ignorant, are slaves.
O curs’d effects of civil hate,
In every age, in every state !
Still, when the lust of tyrant power succeeds,
Some Athens perishes, some Tully bleeds.