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And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all:
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is ficklied o’er with the pale cast of thought;
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.
CH A P. XXXI. SOLILOQUY OF THE KING IN HAMLET.
H! my offence is rank, it smells to heav'n,
It hath the primal, eldest curse upon’t;
A brother's murder- Pray I cannot:
Though inclination be as sharp as 'twill,
My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent;
And like a man to double business bound,
I stand in pause where I shall first begin,
And both neglect. What if this cursed hand .
Were thicker than itself with brother's blood ?
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heav'ns
To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercy,
But to confront the visage of offence ?
And what's in prayer, but this two-fold force,
To be forestalled ere we come to fall,
Or pardond being down? - Then I'll look up;
My fault is past. But oh, what form of prayer
Can serve my turn? Forgive me my foul murder !
That cannot be, since I am still possess’d
Of those effects for which I did the murder,
My crown, mine own ambition, and my Queen.
May one be pardon’d, and retain th’offence ?
In the corrupted currents of this world,
Offence's gilded hand may shove by juftice;
And oft 'tis seen, the wicked prize itself
Buys out the laws. But 'tis not so above.
There is no shuffling; there the action lies
In its true nature, and we ourselves compell’d,
Ev'n to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
To give in evidence. What then? what rests ?
Try what repentance can : what can it not?
Yet what can it, when one cannot repent?
Oh wretched ftate ! oh bosom black as death!
Oh limed soul, that, struggling to be free,
Art more engag'd! Help, angels ! make affay!
Bow, stubborn knees; and, heart, with strings of feel,
Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe !
All may be well.
: CH A P. XXXII.
ODE ON ST. CECILIA's D A Y.
DESCEND, ye Nine! descend and fing;
The breathing instruments inspire;
Wake into voice each silent ftring; ·
And sweep the founding lyre!
In a fadly-pleasing strain
Let the warbling lute complain :
- Let the loud trumpet found,
Till the roofs all around
The Thrill echoes rebound;
While in more lengthen'd notes and flow,
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 founds 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 rouzes from his bed,
Sloth unfolds her arms and wakes,
Lift'ning Envy drops her snakes;
Intestinė 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 vefsel 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 demi-gods stood round,
And men grew heroes at the sound,
Enflam'd with glory's charms:
Each chief his fev’nfold fhield display'd,
And half unsheath'd the shining blade.:
And seas, and rocks, and skies rebound
To arms, to arms, to arms! .
But when thro' 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 ?
Fires that glow,
Shrieks of woe,
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 Sysiphus, stands still,
Ixion refts upon his wheel,
And the pale spectres dance !
The furies sink upon their iron beds,
And snakes uncurl'd hang listning round their heads.
By the streams that ever flow,
By the fragrant winds that blow
O'er th’ Elysian flow’rs ;
By those happy fouls who dwell
In yellow meads of Asphodel,
Or Amaranthine bow'rs;
By the heroe's armed fades,
Glitt'ring thro' the gloomy glades;
By the youths that dy'd for love,
Wand'ring 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 prayer:
Stern Proserpine relented,
And gave him back the fair ;
Thus fong could prevail.
O’er death, and o'er hell,
A conquest how hard, and how glorious !
Tho' fate had faft bound her
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 the dies, se 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 falls of fountains,
Or where Hebrus wanders,
Rolling in meanders,