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Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,
Frae aff its thorny tree;
THE PROGRESS OF POESY
A Pindaric Ode
Awake, Aeolian lyre, awake,
A thousand rills their mazy progress take :
O Sovereign of the willing soul,
And frantic Passions hear thy soft control.
Thee the voice, the dance, obey
On Cytherea's day,
Now in circling troops they meet :
Glance their many-twinkling feet. Slow melting strains their Queen's approach declare :
Where'er she turns the Graces homage pay : With arms sublime that float upon the air
In gliding state she wins her easy way : 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 ! The fond complaint, my sung, disprove, And justify the laws of Jove. Say, has he given in vain the heavenly Muse ? Night, and all her sickly dews, Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry He gives to range the dreary sky : Till down the eastern cliffs afar Hyperion's march they spy, and glittering shafts of war.
In climes beyond the solar road Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam, The Muse has broke the twilight gloom
To cheer the shivering native's dull abode. And oft, beneath the odorous shade Of Chili's boundless forests laid, She deigns to hear the savage youth repeat In loose numbers wildly sweet Their feather-cinctured chiefs, and dusky loves. Her track, where'er the Goddess roves, Glory pursue, and generous Shame, Th’unconquerable Mind, and Freedom's holy flame.
Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep,
Fields that cool Ilissus laves
Inspiration breathed around ;
Murmur'd deep a solemn sound :
Left their Parnassus for the Latian plains.
And coward Vice, that revels in her chains.
Far from the sun and summer-gale
To him the mighty Mother did unveil
Nor second He, that rode sublime
He pass'd the flaming bounds of Place and Time : The living Throne, the sapphire-blaze Where Angels tremble while they gaze, He saw; but blasted with excess of light, 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 clothed, and long-resounding
Hark, his hands the lyre explore !
That the Theban Eagle bear,
Thro' the azure deep of air :
Such forms as glitter in the Muse's ray
Yet shall he mount, and keep his distant way Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate : Beneath the Good how far-but far above the Great.
An Ode for Music
turb’d, delighted, raised, refined :
First Fear his hand, its skill to try,
Amid the chords bewilder'd laid, And back recoil'd, he knew not why,
E'en at the sound himself had made.
Next Anger rush'd, his eyes on fire,
In lightnings own'd his secret stings; In one rude clash he struck the lyre
And swept with hurried hand the strings.
With woeful measures wan Despair
Low sullen sounds his grief beguiled, A solemn, strange, and mingled air,
'Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild.
But thou, O Hope, with eyes so fair,
What was thy delighted measure ? Still it whisper'd promised pleasure
And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail ! Still would her touch the strain prolong;
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale She call’d on Echo still through all the song ;
And, where her sweetest theme she chose,
A soft responsive voice was heard at every close ; And Hope enchanted smiled, and waved her golden
hair ;And longer had she sung :--but with a frown
Revenge impatient rose :
And with a withering look
And ever and anon he beat
The doubling drum with furious heat; And, though sometimes, each dreary pause between,
Dejected Pity at his side Her soul-subduing voice applied, Yet still he kept his wild unalter'd mien, While each strain’d ball of sight seem'd bursting from