Page images
PDF
EPUB

ODE

ON

ST. CECILIA's DAY,

MDCC VIII.

AND OTHER

PIECES for MUSIC.

F3

£ 3

ODE for MUSIC

O N

ST. CECILIA'S DAY.

I.

Defcend, ye Nine! defcend and fing;

The breathing instruments inspire,
Wake into voice each filent ftring,
And sweep the founding lyre!

In a fadly-pleasing strain

Let the warbling lute complain :
Let the loud trumpet found,

'Till the roofs all around

The fhrill echos rebound:.

F-4

5

While

Ode for Mufic.] 'This is one of the most artful as well as fublime of our Poet's fmaller compofitions. The firft ftanza is a defcription of the various tones and meafres in mufic. The fecond relates their power over the feveral paffions in general. The third, their ufe in infpiring the Heroic paffions in particular. The fourth, fifth, and fixth, their power over all nature in the fable of Orpheus's expedition to hell; which fubject of illuftration arofe naturally out of the preceding mention of the Argonautic expedition, where Orpheus gives an example of the ufe of Mufic to inspire the heroic paffions. The feventh and 1aft concludes in praife of Mufic, and the advantages of the facred above the prophane.

While in more lengthen'd notes and flow,
The deep, majestic, folemn organs blow.
Hark! the numbers foft and clear,
Gently steal upon the ear;

Now louder, and yet louder rife

And fill with spreading founds the skies;
Exulting in triumph now fwell the bold notes,
In broken air, trembling, the wild music floats;
'Till, by degrees, remote and fmall,
The ftrains decay,

And melt away,

In a dying, dying fall,

II.

By Music, minds an equal temper know,
Nor fwell too high, nor fink too low.
If in the breast tumultuous joys arise,
Mufic her foft, affuafive voice applies;
Or, when the foul is prefs'd with cares,
Exalts her in enlivening airs.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Pours balm into the bleeding lover's wounds:

Warriors fhe fires with animated founds

;

Melancholy lifts her head,

Morpheus rouzes from his bed,
Sloth unfolds her arms and wakes,

Lift'ning Envy drops her fnakes;
Inteftine war no more our Paffions wage,
And giddy Factions hear away their rage.

III.

But when our Country's cause provokes to Arms,
How martial mufic ev'ry bofom warms!

30

35

So

So when the first bold veffel dar'd the feas,

High on the ftern the Thracian rais'd his strain,
While Argo faw her kindred trees.
Defcend from Pelion to the main.
Tranfported demi-gods ftood round,
And men grew heroes at the found,
Enflam'd with glory's charms :
Each chief his fev'nfold shield display'd,
And half unfheath'd the shining blade:
And feas, and rocks, and fkies rebound
To arms, to arms, to arms!

IV.

But when thro' all th' infernal bounds,
Which flaming Phlegeton furrounds,

Love, ftrong as Death, the Poet led
To the pale nations of the dead,

What founds were heard,
What scenes appear'd,

O'er all the dreary coafts!

Dreadful gleams,
Difmal fcreams,
Fires that glow,

Shrieks of woe,

Sullen moans,

Hollow groans,

And cries of tortur'd ghosts!

But hark! he ftrikes the golden lyre;

And fee! the tortur'd ghosts refpire,

See, fhady forms advance !

Thy ftone, O Syfiphus, ftands ftill,
Ixion refts upon his wheel,

And the pale spectres-dance!

45

50

55

ба

65

The

« EelmineJätka »