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The maids and matrons on her awful voice,
Silent and pale, in wild amazement hung.
Yet he, the bard who first invoked thy name,
Disdained in Marathon its power to feel : For not alone he nursed the poet's flame,
But reached from Virtue's hand the patriot's steel.
But who is he whom later garlands grace,
Who left a while o’er Hybla’s dews to rove, With trembling eyes thy dreary steps to trace,
Where thou and furies shared the baleful grove ? Wrapt in thy cloudy veil, the incestuous queen
Sighed the sad call her son and husband heard, When once alone it broke the silent scene,
And he the wretch of Thebes no more appeared.
O Fear, I know thee by my throbbing heart :
Thy withering power inspired each mournful line : Though gentle Pity claim her mingled part,
Yet all the thunders of the scene are thine !
Or, in some hollowed seat,
'Gainst which the big waves beat, Hear drowning seamen's cries, in tempests brought? Dark power, with shuddering meek submitted thought, Be mine to read the visions old Which thy awakening bards have told :
And, lest thou meet my blasted view,
O thou, whose spirit most possest
ODE TO SIMPLICITY.
O Thou, by Nature taught
To breathe her genuine thought,
Who first, on mountains wild,
In Fancy, loveliest child, Thy babe, and Pleasure's, nursed the powers of song !
Thou, who, with hermit heart, Disdain'st the wealth of art,
And gauds, and pageant weeds, and trailing pall;
But comest a decent maid,
In Attic robe arrayed,
By all the honeyed store
On Hybla's thymy shore; By all her blooms, and mingled murmurs dear ;
By her whose lovelorn woe,
In evening musings slow,
By old Cephisus deep, Who spread his wavy sweep, In warbled wanderings, round thy green retreat ;
On whose enamelled side,
When holy Freedom died,
O sister meek of Truth,
To my admiring youth,
The flowers that sweetest breathe,
Though beauty culled the wreath, Still ask thy hand to range their ordered hues.
While Rome could none esteem,
But virtue's patriot theme, You loved her hills, and led her laureate band :
But staid to sing alone
To one distinguished throne; And turned thy face, and fled her altered land.
No more, in hall or bower,
The Passions own thy power,
For thou hast left her shrine;
Nor olive more, nor vine,
Though taste, though genius, bless
To some divine excess,
What each, what all supply,
Of these let others ask,
To aid some mighty task,
Where oft my reed might sound
To maids and shepherds round,
ODE ON THE POETICAL CHARACTER.
As once,- if, not with light regard,
At solemn tourney hung on high,
As if, in air unseen, some hovering hand,
With whispered spell had burst the starting band, It left unblest her loathed, dishonored side;
Happier, hopeless Fair, if never
Her baffled hand, with vain endeavor,
To whom, prepared and bathed in heaven,
To gird their blest prophetic loins,