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With antic sports and blue-ey'd pleasures,
Frisking light in frolic measures;
Now pursuing, now retreating,
Now in circling troops they meet:
To brisk notes in cadence beating
Glance their many-twinkling feet.
Slow-melting strains their queen's approach declare:
Where'er she turns, the Graces homage pay,
With arts sublime, that float upon the air,
In gliding state she wins her easy way:
O'er her warm cheek, and rising bosom, move
The bloom of young Desire, and purple light of Love.
Their feather-cinctur'd chiefs, and dusky loves.
Her track, where'er the goddess roves,
Glory pursue, and generous Shame,
Th' unconquerable mind, and Freedom's holy flame.
Man's feeble race what ills await,
Labor and Penury, the racks of Pain,
Disease, and Sorrow's weeping train,
And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate!
The fond complaint, my song, disprove,
And justify the laws of Jove.
Hark, his hands the lyre explore!
Bright-ey'd Fancy, hovering o'er,
Scatters from her pictur'd urn
Say, has he given in vain the heavenly Muse?
Night, and all her sickly dews,
Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry,
He gives to range the dreary sky:
Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.
But ah! 'tis heard no more-
Till down the eastern cliffs afar
Oh! lyre divine, what daring spirit
Wakes thee now? though he inherit
Hyperion's march they spy, and glittering shafts of Nor the pride, nor ample pinion,
Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep,
Isles, that crown th' Ægean deep,
Fields, that cool Ilissus laves,
Or where Mæander's amber waves
In lingering labyrinths creep,
How do your tuneful Echoes languish
Mute, but to the voice of Anguish?
Where each old poetic mountain
Inspiration breath'd around:
Every shade and hallow'd fountain
Murmur'd deep a solemn sound:
Till the sad Nine, in Greece's evil hour,
Left their Parnassus, for the Latian plains.
Alike they scorn the pomp of tyrant-power,
And coward Vice, that revels in her chains.
When Latium had her lofty spirit lost,
They sought, oh Albion! next thy sea-encircled coast.
Far from the Sun and summer-gale,
In thy green lap was Nature's darling* laid,
What time, where lucid Avon stray'd,
Thine too these golden keys, immortal boy!
This can unlock the gates of Joy;
Of Horror that, and thrilling fears,
Or ope the sacred source of sympathetic tears."
Nor second he,t that rode sublime
Upon the seraph-wings of Ecstasy,
The secrets of th' abyss to spy.
That the Theban eagle bear,
Sailing with supreme dominion
In climes beyond the solar road,
Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam, Through the azure deep of air:
The Muse has broke the twilight gloom
To cheer the shivering native's dull abode.
And oft, beneath the odorous shade
Of Chili's boundless forests laid,
She deigns to hear the savage youth repeat,
In loose numbers wildly sweet,
To him the mighty mother did unveil
Her awful face: the dauntless child
Stretch'd forth his little arms, and smil'd.
"This pencil take," she said, "whose colors clear
Richly paint the vernal year:
He pass'd the flaming bounds of place and time:
The living throne, the sapphire-blaze,
Where angels tremble, while they gaze,
He saw; but, blasted with excess of light,
Clos'd his eyes in endless night.
Behold, where Dryden's less presumptuous car,
Wide o'er the fields of Glory bare
Two coursers of ethereal race,t
With necks in thunder cloth'd, and long-resounding
Yet oft before his infant eyes would run
Such forms as glitter in the Muse's ray
With orient hues, unborrow'd of the Sun:
Yet shall he mount, and keep his distant way
Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate,
Beneath the good how far-but far above the great.
ODE ON THE SPRING.
Lo! where the rosy-bosom'd Hours,
Fair Venus' train appear,
Disclose the long-expecting flowers,
And wake the purple year!
The attic warbler pours her throat,
Responsive to the cuckoo's note,
The untaught harmony of Spring:
While, whispering pleasure as they fly,
Cool zephyrs through the clear blue sky
Their gather'd fragrance fling.
Where'er the oak's thick branches stretch
A broader, browner shade;
Where'er the rude and moss-grown beech
O'er-canopies the glade,
Beside some water's rushy brink
With me the Muse shall sit, and think
(At ease reclin'd in rustic state)
How vain the ardor of the crowd,
How low, how little are the proud,
How indigent the great!
Still is the toiling hand of Care:
The panting herds repose:
Yet hark, how through the peopled air
The busy murmur glows!
Meant to express the stately march and sounding energy of Dryden's rhymes.
The insect youth are on the wing,
Eager to taste the honied spring,
And float amid the liquid noon: Some lightly o'er the current skim, Some show their gaily-gilded trim, Quick-glancing to the Sun.
To Contemplation's sober eye
Such is the race of man:
And they that creep, and they that fly,
Shall end where they began.
Alike the busy and the gay
But flutter through life's little day,
In Fortune's varying colors drest:
Brush'd by the hand of rough Mischance;
Or chill'd by Age, their airy dance
They leave in dust to rest.
Methinks I hear in accents low
The sportive kind reply;
"Poor moralist! and what art thou?
A solitary fly!
Thy joys no glittering female meets,
No hive hast thou of hoarded sweets,
No painted plumage to display: On hasty wings thy youth is flown: Thy sun is set, thy spring is goneWe frolic while 'tis May."
PERFORMED IN THE SENATE-HOUSE AT CAMBRIDGE,
JULY 1, 1769, AT THE INSTALLATION OF HIS
GRACE AUGUSTUS-HENRY FITZROY, DUKE OF GRAF-
TON, CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY.
While bright-ey'd Science watches round:
Hence, away, 'tis holy ground!"
From yonder realms of empyrean day
Bursts on my ear th' indignant lay:
There sit the sainted sage, the bard divine,
The few, whom genius gave to shine
Through every unborn age and undiscover'd clime.
Rapt in celestial transport they,
Yet hither oft a glance from high
They send of tender sympathy
Ye brown o'er-arching groves,
That Contemplation loves,
Where willowy Camus lingers with delight!
Oft at the blush of dawn
To bless the place, where on their opening soul
First the genuine ardor stole.
"Twas Milton struck the deep-ton'd shell,
And, as the choral warblings round him swell,
Meek Newton's self bends from his state sublime,
And nods his hoary head, and listens to the rhyme.
I trod your level lawn,
Oft woo'd the gleam of Cynthia silver-bright
In cloisters dim, far from the haunts of Folly,
With Freedom by my side, and soft-ey'd Melan-
But hark! the portals sound, and pacing forth
With solemn steps and slow,
High potentates and dames of royal birth,
And mitred fathers, in long order go:
Great Edward, with the lilies on his brow,
From haughty Gallia torn,
And sad Chatillon,† on her bridal morn
That wept her bleeding love, and princely Clare,
And Anjou's heroine, and the paler rose,ll
The rival of her crown and of her woes,
And either Henry¶ there,
The murder'd saint, and the majestic lord,
That broke the bonds of Rome.
(Their tears, their little triumphs o'er,
Their human passions now no more,
Save Charity, that glows beyond the tomb,)
All that on Granta's fruitful plain
Rich streams of regal bounty pour'd,
And bade these awful fanes and turrets rise,
To hail their Fitzroy's festal morning come;
And thus they speak in soft accord
The liquid language of the skies.
"HENCE, avaunt, ('tis holy ground,)
Comus and his midnight-crew,
And Ignorance with looks profound,
And dreaming Sloth of pallid hue,
Mad Sedition's cry profane,
Servitude that hugs her chain,
Nor in these consecrated bowers
† Mary de Valentia, Countess of Pembroke, daughter
Let painted Flattery hide her serpent-train in flowers. of Guy de Chatillon, Comte de St. Paul in France: of
Nor Envy base, nor creeping Gain,
Dare the Muse's walk to stain,
whom tradition says, that her husband, Audemar de Valentia, Earl of Pembroke, was slain at a tournament on the day of his nuptials. She was the foundress of Pembroke College or Hall, under the name of Aula Marie de Valentia.
What is grandeur, what is power?
Heavier toil, superior pain.
What the bright reward we gain?
The grateful memory of the good.
Sweet is the breath of vernal shower,
The bee's collected treasure's sweet,
Sweet music's melting fall, but sweeter yet
The still small voice of Gratitude."
Edward the Third; who added the fleur-de-lis of France to the arms of England. He founded Trinity College.
Elizabeth de Burg, Countess of Clare, was wife of John de Burg, son and heir of the Earl of Ulster, and daughter of Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, by Joan of Acres, daughter of Edward the First. Hence the poet gives her the epithet of princely. She founded Clare-Hall.
§ Margaret of Anjou, wife of Henry the Sixth, foundress of Queen's College. The poet had celebrated her con jugal fidelity in a former ode.
Elizabeth Widville, wife of Edward the Fourth (hence called the paler rose, as being of the house of York.) She added to the foundation of Margaret of Anjou.
T Henry the Sixth and Eighth. The former the founder of King's, the latter the greatest benefactor to Trinity College.
Yet ah! why should they know their fate? Since sorrow never comes too late,
And happiness too swiftly flies. Thought would destroy their ParadiseNo more; where ignorance is bliss, "Tis folly to be wise.
'RUIN seize thee, ruthless king!
Confusion on thy banners wait!
Though fann'd by Conquest's crimson wing,
They mock the air with idle state.
Helm, nor hauberk's twisted mail,
Nor e'en thy virtues, tyrant, shall avail
To save thy secret soul from nightly fears,
From Cambria's curse, from Cambria's tears!"
Such were the sounds, that o'er the crested pride
Of the first Edward scatter'd wild dismay,
As down the steep of Snowdon's shaggy side
He wound with toilsome march his long array.
Stout Glo'stert stood aghast in speechless trance:
To arms! cried Mortimer, and couch'd his quiver
On a rock, whose haughty brow
Frowns o'er old Conway's foaming flood,
Rob'd in the sable garb of woe,
With haggard eyes the poet stood;
(Loose his beard, and hoary hair
Stream'd, like a meteor, to the troubled air,)
And with a master's hand, and prophet's fire,
Struck the deep sorrows of his lyre.
"Hark, how each giant-oak, and desert cave,
Sighs to the torrent's awful voice beneath!
O'er thee, oh king! their hundred arms they wave, Revenge on thee in hoarser murmurs breathe; Vocal no more, since Cambria's fatal day,
To high-born Hoel's harp, or soft Llewellyn's lay.
Cold is Cadwallo's tongue,
That hush'd the stormy main;
Brave Urien sleeps upon his craggy bed:
Mountains, ye mourn in vain
Modred, whose magic song
Made huge Plinlimmon bow his cloud-topp'd head.
On dreary Arvon's shore they lie,
Smear'd with gore, and ghastly pale:
Far, far aloof th' affrighted ravens sail :
The famish'd eagle screams, and passes by.
Dear lost companions of my tuneful art,
Dear, as the light that visits these sad eyes,
Dear, as the ruddy drops that warm my heart,
Ye died amidst your dying country's cries—
*The hauberk was a texture of steel ringlets, or rings interwoven, forming a coat of mail, that sat close to the body, and adapted itself to every motion.
Gilbert de Clare, surnamed the Red, Earl of Glouces ter and Hertford, son-in-law to King Edward.
Edmond de Mortimer, Lord of Wigmore.
§ The shores of Caernarvonshire, opposite to the Isle of Anglesea.