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From hence no cloud, or, to obstruct his sight,
Star interposed, however small he sees,
Not unconform to other shining globes,
Earth, and the garden of God, with cedars crowned,
Above all hills. As when by night the glass
Of Galileo, less assured, observes
Imagined land and regions in the moon :
Or pilot, from amidst the Cyclades
Delos or Samos first appearing kens
A cloudy spot. Down thither prone in flight
He speeds, and through the vast ethereal sky
Sails between worlds and worlds, with steady wing.
Now on the polar winds, then with quick fan
Winnows the buxom air; till within soar
Of towering eagles, to all the fowls he seems
A Phoenix, gazed by all, as that sole bird
When to enshrine his reliques in the sun's
Bright temple, to Egyptian Thebes he flies.
At once on th' eastern cliff of Paradise
He lights, and to his proper shape returns
A Seraph winged; six wings he wore, to shade
His lineaments divine; the pair that clad
Each shoulder broad, came mantling o'er his breast
With regal ornament; the middle pair
Girt like a starry zone his waist, and round
Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold
And colours dipt in Heaven; the third his feet
Shadowed from either heel with feathered mail
Sky-tinctured grain. Like Maia's son he stood,
And shook his plumes, that heavenly fragrance filled
The circuit wide.
Those lips, that Love's own hands did make,
Breathed forth the sound that said, "I hate,"
To me that languished for her sake:
But when she saw my woful state,
Straight in her heart did mercy come,
Chiding that tongue, that ever sweet
Was used in giving gentle doom;
And taught it thus anew to greet;
"I hate," she altered with an end,
That followed it as gentle day
Doth follow night, who like a fiend,
From heaven to hell is flown away;
"I hate," from hate away she threw,
And saved my life, saying—"not you.”
Alexander's Feast, or the Power of Music.
AN ODE IN HONOUR OF ST. CECILIA'S DAY.
"I was at the royal feast, for Persia won By Philip's warlike son:
Aloft in awful state
The godlike hero sate
On his imperial throne :
His valiant peers were placed around'; Their brows with roses and with myrtles bound. (So should desert in arms be crowned :)
The lovely Thais by his side,
Sate like a blooming Eastern bride,
In flower of youth and beauty's pride.
Happy, happy, happy pair!
None but the brave,
None but the brave,
None but the brave deserves the fair.
Timotheus, placed on high
Amid the tuneful quire,
With flying fingers touched the lyre:
The trembling notes ascend the sky,
And heavenly joys inspire.
The song began from Jove,
Who left his blissful seats above,
(Such is the power of mighty love.)
A dragon's fiery form belied the god :
Sublime on radiant spires he rode,
When he to fair Olympia pressed :
And while he sought her snowy breast:
Then, round her slender waist he curled,
And stamped an image of himself, a sovereign of the world.
The listening croud admire the lofty sound,
A present deity, they shout around:
A present deity, the vaulted roofs rebound:
With ravished ears
The monarch hears,
Assumes the god,
Affects to nod,
And seems to shake the spheres.
The praise of Bacchus then, the sweet musician sung,
Of Bacchus ever fair and ever young:
The jolly god in triumph comes;
Sound the trumpets; beat the drums;
Flushed with a purple grace
He shews his honest face:
Now give the hautboys breath; he comes, he comes.
Bacchus, ever fair and young,
Drinking joys did first ordain;
Bacchus' blessings are a treasure,
Drinking is the soldier's pleasure :
Rich the treasure,
Sweet the pleasure,
Sweet is pleasure after pain.
Soothed with the sound, the king grew vain;
Fought all his battles o'er again;
And thrice he routed all his foes; and thrice he slew the slain.
The master saw the madness rise;
His glowing cheeks, his ardent eyes;
And while he heaven and earth defied,
Changed his hand and checked his pride.
He chose a mournful Muse
Soft pity to infuse :
Darius great and good,
By too severe a fate
Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen,
Fallen from his high estate,
And weltering in his blood;
Deserted, at his utmost need,
By those his former bounty fed :
On the bare earth exposed he lies,
With not a friend to close his eyes.
With downcast looks the joyless victor sate
Revolving in his altered soul
The various turns of chance below ;
And, now and then, a sigh he stole ;
And tears began to flow.
The mighty master smiled, to see
That love was in the next degree:
"T was but a kindred sound to move,
For pity melts the mind to love.
Softly sweet, in Lydian measures,
Soon he soothed his soul to pleasures.