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ODES

ODE ON ST. CECILIA'S DAY.

WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1708,

DESCEND, ye Nine! descend and sing;
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 fill with spreading sounds the skies:

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Exulting in triumph 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,
Nor swell too high nor sink too low.
If in the breast tumultuous joys arise,
Music her soft assuasive voice applies,
Or when the soul is press'd with cares,
Exalts her in euliv'nfig airs.

Warriors she fires with animated sounds;
Pours balm into the bleeding lover's wound
Melancholy lifts her head,

Morpheus rouses from his bed,

Sloth unfolds her arms and wakes,

List'ning envy drops her snakes;

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Intestine war no more our passions wage,
And giddy factions hear away their rage.

But when our country's cause provokes to arms,
How martial music ev'ry 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 arms!

But when through all th' infernal bounds,
Which flaming Phlegethon surrounds,
Love, strong as death, the poet led
To the pale nations of the dead,
What sounds were heard,

What scenes appear'd,

O'er all the dreary coasts!
Dreadful gleams,

Dismal screams,
Fires that glow,

Shrieks of woe,

Sullen moans,

Hollow groans,

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,

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And snakes uncurl'd hang listening round their heads.

By the streams that ever flow,
By the fragrant winds that blow
O'er th' 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 inusic and love were victorious.

But soon, too soon, the lover turns his eyes;
Again she falls, again she dies, she dies!
How wilt thou now the fatal sisters move!
No crime was thine, if 'tis no crime to love.
Now under hanging mountains,

Beside the fall of fountains,

Or where Hebrus wanders,

Rolling in meanders,

All alone,

Unheard, unknown,
He makes his moan;
And calls her ghost,
For ever, ever, ever lost!
Now with furies surrounded,
Despairing, confounded,
Ife trembles, he glows,
Amidst Rhodope's suows;

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See, wild as the winds o'er the desert he flies;

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Hark! Hæmus resounds with the Bacchanal's 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,

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And fate's severest rage disarm:

Music can soften pain to ease,

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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.

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When the full organ joins the tuneful quire,
Th' immortal powers 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 Orpheus 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.

ODE ON SOLITUDE.

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WRITTEN WHEN THE AUTHOR WAS ABOUT TWELVE

YEARS OLD.

HAPPY the man whose wish and care

A few paternal acres bound,

Content to breath his native air

In his own ground.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply bin with attire,

Whose trees in summer yield him shade,

In winter file.

Bless'd, who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years, slide soft away,
In health of body, peace of mind,

Quiet by day:

Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mix'd; sweet recreation;
And innocence, which most does please,

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VITAL

THE DYING CHRISTIAN TO HIS SOUL.

ITAL spark of heavenly flame!

Quit, O quit this mortal frame!
Trembling, hoping, lingering, flying;
Oh the pain, the bliss of dying!
Cease, fond nature! cease thy strife,
And let me languish into life.

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Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
Drowns my spirits, draws my breath?
Tell me, my soul! can this be death?

The world recedes: it disappears!
Heav'n opens on my eyes! my cars
With sounds seraphic ring:

Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly!
O grave! where is thy victory?

O death! where is thy sting?

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