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(Such is the power of mighty love.)
A dragon's fiery form belied the god :
Sublime on radiant spires he rode,
When he to fair Olympia press’d; [world.
And stamp'd an image of himself, a sovereign of the
The listening crowd admire the lofty sound;
A present deity, they shout around:
A present deity, the vaulted roofs rebound: 30
With ravish'd ears
The monarch hears,
Assumes the god,
Affects to nod,
And seems to shake the spheres.
The praise of Bacchus then the sweet musician sung;
Of Bacchus ever fair and ever young:
The jolly god in triumph comes;
Sound the trumpets; beat the drums;
Flush'd with a purple grace
40 He shows his honest face: Now give the hautboys breath; he comes, he comes
Bacchus, ever fair and young,
Drinking joys did first ordain;
Bacchus' blessings are a treasure,
45 Drinking is the soldier's pleasure :
Rich the treasure,
Sweet the pleasure,
Sweet is pleasure after pain.
Soothed with the sound, the king grew vain; 50
Fought all his battles o'er again; And thrice he routed all his foes; and thrice he slew
The master saw the madness rise ;
His glowing cheeks, his ardent eyes ;
And, while he heaven and earth defied,
Changed his hand, and check'd his pride.
He chose a mournful muse
Soft pity to infuse:
He sung Darius great and good,
By too severe a fate,
Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen,
Fallen from his high estate,
And weltering in his blood;
Deserted, at his utmost need,
By those his former bounty fed;
On the bare earth exposed he lies,
With not a friend to close his eyes.
With downcast looks the joyless victor sate,
Revolving in his alter'd soul
The various turns of chance below;
And, now and then, a sigh he stole;
And tears began to flow,
The mighty master smiled, to see
That love was in the next degree:
'T was but a kindred sound to move,
For pity melts the mind to love.
Softly sweet, in Lydian measures,
Soon he soothed his soul to pleasures. War, he sung, is toil and trouble ; Honour but an empty bubble;
Never ending, still beginning, Fighting still, and still destroying :
If the world be worth thy winning, Think, O think it worth enjoying :
Lovely Thais sits beside thee,
Take the good the gods provide thee. The many rend the skies with loud applause ; So Love was crown'd, but Music won the cause. The prince, unable to conceal his pain,
Gazed on the fair
Who caused his care,
And sigh'd and look’d, sigh'd and look’d,
Sigh'd and look’d, and sigh'd again:
At length, with love and wine at once opprest,
The vanquish'd victor sunk upon her breast.
Now strike the golden lyre again :
A louder yet, and yet a louder strain.
Break his bands of sleep asunder,
And rouse him, like a rattling peal of thunder.
Hark, hark, the horrid sound
Has raised up his head!
As awaked from the dead,
And amazed, he stares around.
Revenge, revenge, Timotheus cries,
See the Furies arise :
See the snakes that they rear,
How they hiss in their hair,
And the sparkles that flash from their eyes !
Behold a ghastly band, i
Each a torch in his hand ! Those are Grecian ghosts, that in battle were slain,
And unburied remain
Inglorious on the plain:
Give the vengeance due
To the valiant crew.
Behold how they toss their torches on high,
How they point to the Persian abodes,
And glittering temples of their hostile gods.
The princes applaud, with a furious joy; 119
And the king seized a flambeau with zeal to destroy;
· Thais led the way,
To light him to his prey,
And, like another Helen, fired another Troy.
Thus, long ago,
Ere heaving bellows learn'd to blow, 123
While organs yet were mute;
Timotheus, to his breathing flute,
And sounding lyre,
Could swell the soul to rage, or kindle soft desire.
At last divine Cecilia came,
130 Inventress of the vocal frame; The sweet enthusiast, from her sacred store,
Enlarged the former narrow bounds,
And added length to solemn sounds, 134 With Nature's mother-wit, and arts unknown before. Let old Timotheus yield the prize,
Or both divide the crown: He raised a mortal to the skies, She drew an angel down.
HENCE, loathed Melancholy,
Of Cerberus and blackest Midnight born,
In Stygian cave forlorn,
(holy ! ’Mongst horrid shapes, and shrieks and sights un
Find out some uncouth cell,
Where brooding Darkness spreads his jealous wings,
And the night raven sings;
There, under ebon shades, and low-brow'd rocks,
As ragged as thy locks,
In dark Cimmerian desert ever dwell.
But come, thou goddess fair and free,
In Heaven y'clep'd Euphrosyne,
And by men heart-easing Mirth;
Whom lovely Venus, at a birth,
With two sister Graces more,
To ivy-crowned Bacchus bore :
Or whether (as some sages sing)
The frolic wind, that breathes the spring,
Zephyr, with Aurora playing,
As he met her once a-Maying;
There on beds of violets blue,
And fresh-blown roses wash'd in dew,
Fill’d her with thee a daughter fair,
So buxom, blithe, and debonair.
Haste thee, Nymph, and bring with thee 25
Jest, and youthful Jollity,
Quips and Cranks, and wanton Wiles,
Nods and Becks, and wreathed Smiles,
Such as hang on Hebe's cheek,
And love to live in dimple sleek;
Sport that wrinkled Care derides,
And Laughter holding both his sides.
Come, and trip it, as you go,
On the light fantastic toe;
And in thy right hand lead with thee
The mountain-nymph, sweet Liberty;