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Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting,
Possessed beyond the Muse's painting;
By turns they felt the glowing mind
Disturbed, delighted, raised, refined :
Till once, 'tis said, when all were fired,
Filled with fury, rapt, inspired,
From the supporting myrtles round,
They snatched her instruments of sound;
And, as they oft had heard apart
Sweet lessons of her forceful art,
Each-for madness ruled the hour-

prove his own expressive power. 2. First, Fear his hand, its skill to try

Amid the chords bewildered laid : And back recoiled, he knew not why,

E'en at the sound himself had made.

3. Next, Anger rushed, his eyes on fire,

In lightnings owned his secret stings ; In one rude clash he struck the lyre,

And swept with hurried hand the strings. 4. With woful measures, wan Despair

Low, sullen sounds !—his grief beguiled, A solemn, strange, and mingled air;

'Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild. 5. But thou, O Hope! with eyes so fair,

What was thy delighted measure ?

Still it whispered promised pleasure,
And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail !
Still would her touch the strain prolong;

And from the rocks, the woods, the vale,
She called on Echo still through all the song:

And where her sweetest theme she chose, A soft responsive voice was heard at every

close; And Hope, enchanted, smiled, and waved her golden 6. And longer had she sung—but, with a frown,


Revenge impatient rose : He threw his blood-stained sword in thunder down;

And, with a withering look,

The war-denouncing trumpet took,
And blew a blast so loud and dread,
Were ne'er prophetic sounds so full of woe;

And, ever and anon, he beat

The doubling drum with furious heat: And though, sometimes, each dreary pause between,

Dejected Pity, at his side,

Her soul-subduing voice applied, Yet still he kept his wild, unaltered mien, While each strained ball of sight seemed bursting

from his head. 7. Thy numbers, Jealousy, to naught were fixed;

Sad proof of thy distressful state ! Of differing themes the veering song was mixed ; And, now it courted Love; now, raving, called

on Hate.
8. With eyes upraised, as one inspired,

Pale Melancholy sat retired ;
And, from her wild, sequestered seat,

In notes, by distance made more sweet,
Poured through the mellow horn her pensive soul :

And dashing soft from rocks around, Bubbling runnels joined the sound: Through glades and glooms the mingled measure

stole, Or o'er some haunted stream with fond delay

(Round a holy calm diffusing,

Love of peace, and lonely musing), In hollow murmurs died away. 9. But, oh! how altered was its sprightlier tone, When Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthiest hue,

Her bow across her shoulder flung,

Her buskins gemmed with morning dew,
Blew an inspiring air, that dale and thicket rung !-
The hunter's call, to Faun and Dryad known!
The oak-crowned Sisters, and their chaste-eyed

Satyrs and sylvan boys, were seen,
Peeping from forth their alleys green;
Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear,

And Sport leaped up, and seized his beechen spear. 10. Last came Joy's ecstatic trial :

He, with viny crown advancing,
First to the lively pipe his hand addressed :
But soon he saw the brisk awakening viol,
Whose sweet, entrancing voice he loved the best.
They would have thought, who heard the strain,
They saw in Tempe's vale her native maids,

Amid the festal-sounding shades,
To some unwearied minstrel dancing :
While, as his flying fingers kissed the strings,
Love framed with mirth a gay fantastic round :
(Loose were her tresses seen, her zone unbound),

And he, amid his frolic play,
As if he would the charming air repay,
Shook thousand odours from his dewy wings.



(WILLIAM COWPER was born in 1731, and died in 1800. He was

a man of the purest character, and his poetry is marked by
naturalness and moral purity. His best-known work is
“The Task.”]

1. Oh for a lodge in some vast wilderness,
Some boundless contiguity of shade!
Where rumour of oppression and deceit,
Of unsuccessful or successful war,
Might never reach me more. My ear is pained,

My soul is sick, with every day's report
Of wrong and outrage with which earth is filled.

2. There is no flesh in man's obdurate heart;
It does not feel for man ; the natural bond
Of brotherhood is se ed, as the flax
That falls asunder at the touch of fire.
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own; and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.

3. Lands intersected by a narrow frith
Abhor each other. Mountains interposed
Make enemies of nations, who had else
Like kindred drops been mingled into one.
Thus man devotes his brother, and destroys;
And, worse than all, and most to be deplored,
As human nature's broadest, foulest blot,
Chains him and tasks him and exacts his sweat
With stripes that mercy, with a bleeding heart,
Weeps when she sees inflicted on a beast.

4. Then what is man? And what man seeing this And having human feelings, does not blush And hang his head to think himself a man? I would not have a slave to till my ground, To carry me, to fan me while I sleep, And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth That sinews bought and sold have ever earned. No: dear as freedom is, and in my heart's Just estimation, prized above all price, I had much rather be myself the slave And wear the bonds, than fasten them on him.

5. We have no slaves at home—then why abroad? And they themselves, once ferried o'er the wave That parts us, are emancipate and loosed.

Slaves cannot breathe in England ; if their lungs
Receive our air, that moment they are free;
They touch our country and their shackles fall.
That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud
And jealous of the blessing. Spread it, then,
And let it circulate through every vein
Of all your empire; that where Britain's power
Is felt, mankind may feel her mercy too.


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