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They seize their harps, they strike the lyre,
With rapid hand, with freedom's fire;
Obedient Nature hears the lofty found,
57 And Snowdon's airy cliffs the heav'nly strains resound. In pomp
of state behold they wait,
With arms outstretch'd and aspects kind,
To snatch on high to yonder sky
The child of Fancy left behind ;
Forgot the woes of Cambria’s fatal day,
By rapture’s blaze impell’d, they swell the artless lay.
But ah! in vain they strive to footh
With gentle arts the tort'ring hours,
Adversity, * with rankling tooth
Her baleful gifts profusely pours.
68 Behold she comes! the fiend forlorn, Array'd in Horror's settled gloom ; She strews the brier and prickly thorng And triumphs in the infernal doom ;
72 With frantic fury, and insatiate rage,
[page. She gnawsthe throbbing breast, and blaststhe glowing No more the soft Eolian flute + Breathes thro' the heart the melting strain, The pow'rs of Harmony are mute, And leave the once-delightful plain ; With heavy wing I see them beat the air, 79 Damp'd by the leaden hand of comfortless Despair. Yet ftay, O stay ! celestial Pow'rs! And with a hand of kind regard
† The Progress of Poetry.
Difpel the boist'rous storm that lowrs
Destructive on the fav’rite bard;
O watch with me his last expiring breath,
And snatch him from the arms of dark oblivious Death:
Hark! the Fatal Sister's * join,
And, with horror's mutt'ring sounds,
Weave the tissue of his line,
While the dreadful spell resounds.
“ Hail, ye midnight fifters ! hail!
Drive the shuttle swift along,
* Let our secret charms prevail
• O'er the valiant and the strong;
94 « O’er the glory of the land, « O'er the innocent and gay, • O'er the Muses' tuneful band, • Weave the fun'ral web of Gray." 'Tis done, 'tis done-the iron hand of Pain, With ruthless fury and corrosive force, Racks ev'ry joint, and seizes ev'ry vein: He links, he groans, he fails, a lifeless corse ! Thus fades the flow'r, nipp'd by the frozen gale, Tho' once so sweet, so lovely to the eye ; Thus the tall oaks, when boist'rous storms affail, Torn from the earth, a mighty ruin lie.
106 Ye facred Sisters of the plaintive verse, Now let the stream of fond affection flow; O pay your tribute o'er the pow.drawn hearse With all the manly dignity of wo!
• The Fatal Sifters, an Ode.
Ost' when the curfew tolls it's parting krell,
With folemn pause yon' Church-yard's gloom survey,
While surrow's fighs and tears of pity tell
Jlow just the moral of the poet's lay. *
O'er his green grave, in Contemplation's guise,
Oft' let the pilgrim drop a filent tear,
Oft' let the shepherd's tender accents rise,
Big with the sweets of each revolving year,
Till prostrate Time adore his deathless name,
Fix'd on the folid base of adamantine fame.
O! where the rosy-bosom’d hours,
Fair Venus' train, appear,
Disclose the long-expecting flow'rs,
And wake the purple year,
The attic warbler pours her throat
Responsive to the cuckoo's note,
The untaught harmony of spring,
While, whisp’ring pleafure as they fly,
Cool zephyrs thro' 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 fit, and think
(At ease reclin’d in rustic state)
How vain the ardour of the crowd,
How low, how little, are the proud,
How indigent the great.
O'er-canopy'd with luscious woodbine.
Shakesp. Mit. Dream,
Still is the toiling hand of Care,
The panting herds repose,
Yet hark ! how thro' the peopled ait
The busy murmur glows!
The infect youth are on the wing,
Eager to taste the honey'd spring,
And float amid the liquid noon;
Some lightly o'er the current skim,
Some shew their gayly-gilded trim,
Quick-glancing to the fun. +
To contemplation's fober 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 thro' life's little day,
In fortune's varying colours 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 Moralift! and what art thou ?
A solitary fly!
• Nare per æftatem liquidam. Virg. Georg. lib. 4.
---sporting with quick glance, Shew to the sun their wav'd coats dropt with gold.
Milton's Paradise Lof, 6. 7. # While insects from the threshold preach, &c. Mr. Green in the Grotto. Dodfley's Mificilanies, vel. v.p.161.