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The great man's curse, without the gains, endure,
Be envied, wretched, and be flatter'd, poor ;
All luckless wits their enemies profess'd,
And all successful, jealous friends at best.
Nor fame I slight, nor for her favours call;
She comes unlook'd for, if she comes at all.
But if the purchase cost so dear a price,
As soothing folly, or exalting vice :
Oh! if the Muse must flatter lawless sway,
And follow still where fortune leads the way;
Or if no basis bear my rising name,
But the fallen ruins of another's fame;
Then teach me, Heaven! to scorn the guilty bays,
Drive from my breast that wretched lust of praise ;
Unblemish'd let me live, or die unknown;
Oh, grant an honest fame, or grant me none !"


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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 ;
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 enlivening airs.
Warriors she fires with animated sounds;
Pours balm into the bleeding lover's wounds :

Melancholy lifts her head,
Morpheus rouses from his bed,
Sloth unfolds her arms and wakes,

Listening Envy drops her snakes ;
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 every bosom warms !
So when the first bold vessel dared the seas,
High on the stern the Thracian raised his strain,
While Argo saw her kindred trees

Descend from Pelion to the main.
Transported demi-gods stood round,
And men grew heroes at the sound,

Inflam'd with glory's charms:
Each chief his sevenfold shield display'd,

45 And half unsheath'd the shining blade : And seas, and rocks, and skies rebound, “ To arms, to arms, to arms!"


But when through all the infernal bounds,
Which flaming Phlegethon surrounds,

Love, strong as Death, the Poet led 1

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 tortured ghosts!
But, hark! he strikes the golden lyre:
And see! the tortured 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,
And snakes uncurl'd hang listening round their heads. 70

“ By the streams that ever flow,
By the fragrant winds that blow

O'er the Elysian flowers;
By those happy souls who dwell
In yellow meads of Asphodel,

Or Amaranthine bowers ;
By the hero's armed shades,
Glittering through the gloomy glades ;
By the youths that died for love,

Wandering in the myrtle grove,
Restore, restore Eurydice to life:
O take the husband, or return the wife !"

He sung, and hell consented

To hear the Poet's prayer :
Stern Proserpine relented,

And gave him back the fair.

1 ["For death is not more strong than love."-Sandys.]

Thus song could prevail

O’er death, and o'er hell,
A conquest how hard and how glorious !
Though fate had fast bound her

90 With Styx nine times round her, Yet music 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 ? 95
No crime was thine, if 'tis no crime to love.

Now under hanging mountains,
Beside the falls 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!

105 Now with Furies surrounded, Despairing, confounded, He trembles, he glows,

Amidst Rhodope's snows: See, wild as the winds, o'er the desert he flies; 110 Hark! Hæmus resounds with the Bacchanals' cries

Ah see, he dies ! Yet evin in death Eurydice he sung, Eurydice still trembled on his tongue, Eurydice the woods,

115 Eurydice the floods, Eurydice the rocks, and hollow mountains rung.

Music the fiercest grief can charm,
And fate's severest rage disarm :
Music can soften pain to ease,

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 confined the sound.


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