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Yet shall thy grave with rising flowers be dress'd,
So peaceful rests, without a stone, a name,
Poets themselves must fall like those they sung. Deaf the prais'd ear, and mute the tuneful tongue. EVn he, whose soul now melts in mournful lays, Shall shortly want the generous tear he pays; Then from his closing eyes thy form shall part, And the last pang shall tear thee from his heart; Life's idle business at one gasp be o'er, The muse forgot, and thou belov'd no more I
ODE ON ST. CECILIA'S DAY.
TJESCEND, ye Nine ! descend and sing;
J-'^ The breathing instruments inspire,
Wake into voice each silent string,
And sweep the sounding lyre!
In a sadly-pleasing strain
Let the warbling lute complain;
Let the loud trumpet sound,
Till the roofs all around
The shrill echoes rebound;
While in more lengthen'd notes and slow
The deep, majestic, solemn organs blow.
Hark! the numbers soft and clear
Gently steal upon the ear;
Now louder, and yet louder rise,
And till with spreading sounds the skies;
Exulting in trinmph now swell the bold notes,
In broken air, trembling, the wild music floats;
Till by degrees, remote and small,
The strains decay,
And melt away
In a dying, dying fall.
By music minds an equal temper know.
But when our country's cause provokes to arms.
How martial music every bosom warms!
So when the first bold vessel dar'd the seas,
High on the stern the Thracian rais'd his strain,
While Argo saw her kindred trees
Descend from Pelion to the main:
Transported demigods stood round,
And men grew heroes at the sound,
Inflam'd with glory's charms:
Each chief his sevenfold shield display'd,
And half unsheath'd the shining blade;
And seas, and rocks, and skies, rebound
To arms, to arms, to arras;
But when through all the' infernal bounds,
O'er all the dreary coasts!
Fires that glow,
Shrieks of woe,
And cries of tortur'd ghosts!
But, hark! he strikes the golden lyre;
And, see! the tortur'd ghosts respire;
See, shady forms advance!
Thy stone, O Sisyphus ! stands still,
Ixion rests upon his wheel,
And the pale spectres dance;
The furies sink upon their iron beds,
And snakes uncurFd hang listening round theirheads.
By the streams that ever flow,
By the fragrant winds that blow
O'er the' Elysian flowers;
By those happy souls who dwell
In yellow meads of asphodel,
Or amaranthine bowers;
By the heroes' armed shades,
Glittering through the gloomy glades;
By the youths that died for love,
Wandering in the myrtle grove,
Restore, restore Eurydice to life;
Oh, take the husband, or return the wife!—
He sung, and hell consented
To hear the poet's pray'r:
Stern Proserpine relented,
And gave him back the fair.
Thus song could prevail
O'er death and o'er hell,
A conquest how hard and how glorious .'
Though fate had fast bound her,
With Styx nine times round her,
Yet music and love were victorious.
Bnt soon, too soon, the lover turns his eyes;
Again she falls, again she dies, she dies I
How wilt thou now the fatal sisters move?
No crime was thine, if 'tis no crime to love.
Now under banging mountains.
Beside the falls of fountains,
Or where Hebrus wanders,
Rolling in meanders,
He makes his moan;
And calls her ghost,
For ever, ever, ever lost!
Now with furies surrounded,
He trembles, he glows,
Amidst Rhodope's snows:
See, wild as the winds o'er the desert he flies;
Hark I Hsemus resounds with the Bacchanals' cries—
Ah see, he dies!
Yet ev'n in death Eurydice he sung,
Eurydice still trembled on his tongue;
Eurydice the woods,
Eurydice the floods,
Eurydice the rocks and hollow mountains rung.
Music the fiercest grief can charm,
And fate's severest rage disarm:
Music can soften pain to ease,
And make despair and madness please:
Our joys below it can improve,
And antedate the bliss above.
This the divine Cecilia found,
And to her Maker's praise confin'd the sound.
When the full organ joins the tuneful quire,
The' immortal pow'rs incline their ear;
Borne on the swelling notes our souls aspire
While solemn airs improve the sacred fire
And angels lean from Heav'n to hear.
Of Orphens now no more let poets tell;
To bright Cecilia greater pow'r is giv'n:
His numbers rais'd a shade from hell,
Her's lift the soul to Heav'n.
A Sacred Eclogue.
VB nymphs of Sol v ma! begin the song:
Rapt into future times, the bard begun: