Images de page

Now the rich stream of Music winds along,
Deep, majestic, smooth, and strong,
Through verdant vales, and Ceres' golden reign;
Now rolling down the steep amain,
Headlong, impetuous, see it pour :
The rocks and nodding groves rebellow to the


I. 2.

Oh! Sovereign of the willing soul', Parent of sweet and solemn-breathing airs, Enchanting shell! the sullen Cares

And frantic Passions hear thy soft control.
On Thracia's hills the Lord of War
Has curb'd the fury of his car,
And dropp'd his thirsty lance at thy command.
Perching on the sceptred hand3

Of Jove, thy magic lulls the feather'd king
With ruffled plumes and flagging wing:
Quench'd in dark clouds of slumber lie
The terror of his beak, and lightnings of his eye.

I. 3.

Thee, the voice, the dance, obey*,
Temper'd to thy warbled lay.
O'er Idalia's velvet green

The rosy-crowned Loves are seen
On Cytherea's day

With antic sport and blue-eyed Pleasures,
Frisking light in frolic measures;

2 Power of harmony to calm the turbulent passions of the soul. The thoughts are borrowed from the first Pythian of Pindar.

3 This is a weak imitation of some beautiful lines in the same ode.

* Power of harmony to produce all the graces of motion in the body.

Now pursuing, now retreating, Now in circling troops they meet: To brisk notes in cadence beating, Glance their many-twinkling feet'. [clare: Slow melting strains their Queen's approach deWhere'er she turns the Graces homage pay. With arms sublime, that float upon the air,

In gliding state she wins her easy way: O'er her warm cheek, and rising bosom, move The bloom of young Desire and purple light of Love'.

II. 1.

Man's feeble race what ills await"! Labour, and Penury, the racks of Pain, Disease, and Sorrow's weeping train,

And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate!
The fond complaint, my song, disprove,
And justify the laws of Jove.

Say, has he given in vain the heavenly Muse?
Night and all her sickly dews,

Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry,
He gives to range the dreary sky:
Till down the eastern cliffs afar
[of war.
Hyperion's march they spy, and glittering shafts

5 Μαρμαρυγὰς θηεῖτο ποδῶν· θαύμαζε δὲ θυμῶ.

6 Δάμπει δ ́ ἐπὶ πορφυρέησι Παρείησι φῶς ἔρωτα

Homer, Od. .

Phrynicus apud Athenæum.

7 To compensate the real or imaginary ills of life, the Muse was given us by the same Providence that sends the day, by its cheerful presence, to dispel the gloom and terrors of the night.

8 Or seen the Morning's well appointed star Come marching up the eastern hills afar.


II. 2.

In climes beyond the solar road,

Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam, The Muse has broke the' twilight gloom

Youth repeat

To cheer the shivering Native's dull abode. And oft, beneath the odorous shade Of Chili's boundless forests laid, She deigns to hear the savage In loose numbers wildly sweet Their feather-cinctured chiefs, and dusky loves. Her track, where'er the Goddess roves, Glory pursue, and generous Shame, [flame. The' unconquerable Mind, and Freedom's holy

II. 3.

Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep", Isles, that crown the' Ægean deep,

Fields, that cool Ilissus laves,
Or where Mæander's amber waves
In lingering labyrinths creep,

How do your tuneful Echoes languish,
Mute but to the voice of Anguish!

9 Extensive influence of poetic genius over the remotest and most uncivilized nations: its connexion with liberty, and the virtues that naturally attend on it.


Petrarch, Canzon. 2.

11 Progress of Poetry from Greece to Italy, and from Italy to England. Chaucer was not unacquainted with the writings of Dante, or of Petrarch. The Earl of Surrey and Sir Thomas Wyat had traveled in Italy, and formed their taste there. Spenser imitated the Italian writers, and Milton improved on them; but this school expired soon after the Restoration, and a new one arose on the French model, which has subsisted ever since.

10 Extra anni solisque vias—'

Tutta lontana dal camin del sole.'

Where each old poetic Mountain

Inspiration breathed around;
Every shade and hallow'd Fountain

Murmur'd deep a solemn sound :
Till the sad Nine, in Greece's evil hour,

Left their Parnassus for the Latian plains.
Alike they scorn the pomp of tyrant Power,

And coward Vice, that revels in her chains. When Latium had her lofty spirit lost, They sought, oh Albion ! next, thy sea encircled


III. 1.

Far from the Sun and summer gale,
In thy green lap was Nature's Darling " laid,
What time, where lucid Avon stray’d,

To him the mighty Mother did unveil
Her awful face: the dauntless Child
Stretch'd forth his little arms and smiled.
This pencil take (she said) whose colours clear
Richly paint the vernal year:
Thine too these golden keys, immortal Boy!
This can unlock the gates of Joy;
Of Horror that, and thrilling Fears,
Or ope the sacred source of sympathetic Tears.

III. 2.

Nor second He, that rode sublime "3 Upon the seraph-wings of Ecstasy, The secrets of the Abyss to spy.

[Time 14, He pass'd the flaming bounds of Place and 12 Shakspeare.

13 Milton.

flammantia monia mundi.'



The living Throne, the sapphire blaze's,
Where Angels tremble while they gaze,
He saw; but, blasted with excess of light,
Closed his


in endless night . Behold, where Dryden's less presumptuous car Wide o'er the fields of Glory bear Two Coursers of etherial race"?, [ing pace's. With necks in thunder clothed, and long-resound

III. 3. Hark, his hands the lyre explore! Bright-eyed Fancy, hovering o'er, Scatters from her pictured urn Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn "9. But ah! 'tis heard no more

Oh! Lyre divine, what daring Spirit

Wakes thee now! Though he inherit Nor the pride, nor ample pinion,

That the Theban Eagle bear”, Sailing with supreme dominion

Through the azure deep of air:

15 For the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. And above the firmament that was over their heads, was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone. This was the appearance of the glory of the Lord. Ezekiel i. 20, 26, 28. Οφθαλμών μεν άμερσε· δίδε δ' ηδείαν αοιδών.

Hom. Od. 17 Meant to express the stately march and sounding energy of Dryden's rhymes.

18 Hast tbon clothed his neck with thunder ? Job. 19 Words that weep, and tears that speak. Cowley.

20 We have had in our language no other odes of the sublime kind, than that of Dryden on St. Cecilia's day.

21 Aiòs após ögrexa Señor. Olymp. 2. Pindar compares bimself to that bird, and his enemies to ravens that croak and clamour in vain below, while it pursues its light, regardless of their noise.

[ocr errors]
« PrécédentContinuer »