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When first thy sire to send on earth
And bade to form her infant mind.
What sorrow was, thou bad'st her know,
And from her own she learn'd to melt at others' woe.
Scar'd at thy frown terrific, fly
Wild Laughter, Noise, and thoughtless Joy,
Light they disperse; and with them go.
The summer friend, the flatt'ring foe;
By vain Prosperity receiv'd,
To her they vow their truth, and are again believ'd.
Wisdom in sable garb array'd,
Immers'd in rapt'rous thought profound,
And Melancholy, silent maid,
With leaden eye that loves the ground,
Still, on thy solemn steps attend:
And Pity, dropping soft the sadly-pleasing tear.
Oh, gently on thy suppliant's head,
Not circled with the vengeful band (As by the impious thou art seen) With thund'ring voice, and threat'ning mien, With screaming Horror's funeral cry, Despair, and fell Disease, and ghastly Poverty:
Thy form benign, oh Goddess! wear,
To soften, not to wound my heart.
What others are to feel, and know myself a man.
THE PROGRESS OF POESY.
A PINDARIC ODE.
Φωνᾶντα συνετοῖσιν ἐς
PINDAR, Olymp. II.
[This highly-finished Ode describes the power and influence as well as the progress of Poetry.]
AWAKE, Æolian lyre, awake (2),
And give to rapture all thy trembling strings.
A thousand rills their mazy progress take:
(h) Awake, Eolian lyre, awake.
Awake, my glory: awake, lute and harp.
Pindar styles his own poetry, with its musical accompaniments, Αἰολίς μολπὴ Αἰολίδες χορδεὶ, Αἰολίδων τονοι αὐλῶν, Æolian song,
Eolian strings, the breath of the Eolian flute.
The subject and simile, as usual with Pindar, are here united. The various sources of poetry, which gives life and lustre to all it touches, are here described; as well in its quiet majestic progress enriching every subject (otherwise dry and barren) with all the pomp of diction, and luxuriant harmony of numbers; as in its more rapid and irresistible course, when swoln and hurried away by the conflict of tumultuous passions.