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Methinks I bear the Theban lyre ;
I feel my ravish'd soul aspire :
The nymphs surround the infant boy.
Already, conscious of his fame,
The festive choirs their hopes proclaim,
While Pan exults with uncouth signs of joy.
For thee, sole glory of thy abjeet race,
The thyme-fed bees their luscious sweets diffuse;
To soothe the numbers of thy copious muse, And in Boeotia fix each coy reluctant grace.
Oft, fir'd with Bacchanalian rage,
The Father of the 'Grecian stage,
In terror clad, annoys my rest;
I feel unnumber'd horrors rise !
The sight forsakes my'swimming eyes,
While hissing furies rush upon my breast.
In solemn pomp, I see old Gela mourn,
Dissolv'd in grief beside the poet's grave,
To sorrowing sounds he lulls each plaintive wave; His willows fading, and his sea-green mantle torn.
With longing taste, with eager lip,
In raptur'd visions oft I sip
The honey of the tragic bee :
Whose strains could every tempest quell,
noxious blast dispel,
And still the hollow roaring of the sea.
Whose powerful fancy, whose exhaustless vein,
Whose daring genius, whose triumphant wing,
Deep source from whence ten thousand rivers spring, Just bounds could limit, and each rigid rule restrain,
How oft, inspir'd with magic dread,
By Fancy to the cave I'm led,
Where sits the wise Pierian sage ;
With piercing eye, with pensive mind,
In attic solitude reclin'd,
Stern Virtue's precepts chill the poet's rage.
Blest bardl whose muse, mid mildest mortals strong,
Could each rebellious appetite controul,
Could wake each tender feeling of the soul,
And deck instruction in the pleasing charms of song.
With patriot ardor I behold
The. mirthful Muse for freedom bold;
Tho'chaste, severe; tho' poignant, sweet ;
For long uncertain where to rest,
At length upon the poet's breast
The sportive Graces fix'd their gay retreat.
With simpler strains the Doric Muses charm;
And oft to nobler themes of heavenly praise
As Libya's poet hymns his solemn lays,
The wanton Teian loves each chaster thought disarm.
Thus may thy languid charms dispense
Their blessings o'er my ravish'd sense,
By thee to Attic worlds convey'd.
Thus, if at Juno's fond request,
Thou e'er on Ida's top opprest
Th’Almighty Thunderer with thy dewy shade,
To soothe one mortal thy fond care employ!
And, Morpheus, thus may thy mild Lethéan powers,
For ever hovering round my midnight hours,
Thro' Fancy's mirror wrap me in ideal joy.
Why, gentle God, this long delay,
Since Night, and careless Quiet reigns?
Oh, hither take thy silent way,
And sooth, ah sooth my wakeful pains! So shall my hands for thee the wreath entwine, And strew fresh poppies at thy votive shrine.
When from the North, all wan and pale,
The sun withdraws his cheerful light,
And, arm’d with whirlwind, frost, and hail,
The big clouds bring the half year's night, Quick to their caves the shiv’ring natives tend, And hear without the rattling storms descend,
Then, stretcht along the shaggy bed,
To thee, indulgent Power, they cry;
Borne on thy wings, with happier speed,
The leaden-footed moments fly;
While Fancy paints Spring's visionary stores, Andcalls the distant sun to wake the slumb'ring flow'rs.
Nor yet is Sleep's supreme command
Confind to these cold dreary plains ;
O'er sultry Libya's boiling sand
This universal monarch reigns ;
And where with heat the sable Indians glow,
While streams of light through purest aether flow.
Weary and faint the dusky slaves
From cold Potosi's mines retire,
From rugged rocks, and darkling caves,
When scarce the panting lungs respire:
To citron shades they take their pensive way,
Where, bath'd in od'rous winds, their listless limbs
The tyrant's voice, the galling chain,
Th’uplifted scourge no more they fear,
Deep slumbers drown the sense of pain ;
And, floating through the peopled air,
Ideal forms in pleasing order rise,
And bright illusions swim before their eyes.
Now Orellana's foaming tide
With pliant arms they seem to cleave;
And now the light canoe to guide
Across Muenca's glassy wave;