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For thou wilt kindly bid each sound subside,
Save such as soothe the list ning sense,
And serves to aid thy influence:
Save where, soft-breathing o'er the plain,
Mild Zephyr waves the rustling grain ;
Or where some stream, from rocky source,
Slow trickles down its ceaseless course ;
Or where the sea’s imperfect roar
Comes gently murm’ring from the distant shore.
But most in Philomel, sweet bird of night,
In plaintive Philomel, is thy delight:
For she, or studious to prolong her grief,
Or oft to vary her exhaustless lay, With frequent pause, from thee shall seek relief,
Nor close her strain, till dawns the noisy day.
Without thy aid, to happier tasteful art,
No deep instructive science could prevail :
For only where thou dost preside,
Can wit's inventive powers be tried ;
And reason's better task would fail,
Did not thy haunts the serious theme impart.
The critic, that with plodding head,
Toils o'er the learning of the dead;
The cloister'd hermit that explores,
By midnight lamp, religion's stores;
Each sage that marks with thoughtful gaze,
The lunar orb or planet's maze !
And every bard, that strays along
The sylvan shade, intent on sacred song;
Shall all to thee those various praises give,
Which, through thy friendly aid, themselves receive;
For though thou mayst from glory's seats retire,
Where loud applause proclaim the honour'd name; Yet doth thy modest wisdom still inspire
Each nobler work that swells the voice of Fame.
Sorr Sleep, profoundly pleasing power,
Sweet patron of the peaceful hour,
O listen from thy calm abode,
And hither wave thy magic rod ;
Extend thy silent, soothing sway,
And charm the canker Care away.
Whether thou lov'st to glide along,
Attended by an airy throng
Of gentle dreams and smiles of joy,
Such as adorn the wanton boy;
Or to the monarch's fancy bring
Delights that better suit a king;
The glittering host, the groaning plain,
The clang of arms, and victor's train ;
Or, should a milder vision please,
Present the happy scenes of peace;
Plump Antumn, blushing all around,
Rich Industry with toil embrown'd,
Content, with brow serenely gay,
And genial Art's refulgent ray.
Friend to the gloomy shade of night!
Vást source of fanciful delight!
Power! whose care-dissolving sway,
The slave that pants o'er Indian hills,
The wretch whom snow
ow-girt Zembla chills,
And wide creation's fertile race obey ;
The joyous choristers that fit in air,
The mutes that dwell beneath the silver food,
The savage howling o'er th’affrighted wood,
And man, th’imperious lord of all, thy power declares
Thy magic wand can oft restrain
The miser's sordid hopes of gain ;
Can make each heart-felt trouble cease :
Or from the sickening thought suspend
The image of a dying friend;
And lull Suspicion's wakeful eyes in peace.
If thou but soothe the faithful lover's rest,
No fond remembrance of each parting sigh,
Of Beauty's smile, or Pity's streaming eye,
In grief's soft moments steal around his aching breast.
Fair Virtue's friend! thou ne'er shalt shed
Thy blessings o'er the impious head,
Or ’midst the noise of crowds be found;
Thy balm-distilling sweets alone
To ermin's Innocence are known,
And gay Content, with rural garlands crown'd.
By thee the shadow-trembling murderer's guilt
With doubled terror wrings the tortur'd soul,
The purpled steel, the life-destructive bowl, Recall the baleful horrors of the blood he spilt.
When by some pale and livid light
I cheat the tedious hours of night,
Indulging o'er the Attic page :
The dying taper warns to rest,
Thy visions seize my ravish'd breast,
And pictur'd beauties real woes assuage.
O’er Helicon my bleeting lambs I guard,
Or, mix'd with dull Boeotia's simple swains,
Protect my flocks in humble Ascra's plains,
And view the sky-born sisters hailtheir favourite bard.