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JOHN DRYDEN.

ALEXANDER's FEAST,

Or, the Power of Music:
AN ODEON ST. CECILIA'S DAY.
TWAS at the royal feast, for Persia won

By Philip's warlike son:
Aloft in awful state
The god-like hero sate

On his imperial throne :
His valjant peers were plac'd around;
Their brows with roses and with myrtles bound :
So should desert in arms be crown'd.

The lovely Thaïs by his side
Sat, like a blooming eastern bride,
In flower of youth, and beauty's pride.

Happy, happy, happy pair!
None but the brave,
None but the brave,

None but the brave deserves the fair !
Timotheus plac'd on high,

Amid the tuneful choir,

With flying fingers touch'd the lyre:
The trembling notes ascend the sky,

And heavenly joys inspire.
The song began from Jove;
Who left his blissful seats above,
(Such is the power of mighty love !)
A dragon's fiery form belied the god :
Sublime on radiant spheres he rode,

When he to fair Olympia press'd,
And stamp'd an image of himself, a sov'reign of

the world;
The list’ning crowd admire the lofty sound;

A present deity ! they shout around;
A present deity! the vaulted roofs rebound :

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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,

He shews 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,
Drinking is the soldier's pleasure;

Rich the treasure,

Sweet the pleasure;
Sweet is pleasure after pain.
Sooth'd with the sound, the king grew vain; .
Fought all his battles o'er again;
And thrice he routed all his foes, and thrice he

slew the slain.
The master saw the madness rise,
His glowing cheeks, his ardent eyes;
And while he heav'n and earth defy'd,
Chang'd his hand, and check'd his pri

He chose a mournful muse,

Soft pity to infuse :
He sung Darius, great and good!

By too severe a fate
Fall'n, fall'n, fall’n, fall'n,

Fall'n from his high estate,
And well’ring, in his blood :
Deserted, at his utmost need,
By those his former bounty fed ;
On the bare earth expos'd 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 smild to see
That love was in the next degree;
'Twas but a kindred sound to move,
For pity melts the mind to love.

Softly sweet, in Lydian measures,
Soon he sooth'd 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 Thaïs 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,

Gaz'd on the fair

Who caus'd his care,
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 rouze him, like a rattling peal of thunder.

Hark, hark, the horrid sound
Has rais'd up his head,
As awak'd from the dead,
And, amaz'd, he stares around.

Revenge, revenge! Timotheus cries :
See the furies arise !

See the snakes how they rear,

How they hiss in the air !
And the sparkles that flash from their eyes !

Behold a ghastly band,

Each a torch in his hand,
These 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 glitt'ring temples of their hostile gods ! The princes applaud with a furious joy, And the king seiz'd a flambeau, with zeal to destroy:

Thais led the way,

To light him to his prey,
And, like another Helen, fir'd another Troy.

Thus, long ago,
Ere heaving bellows learn'd to blow,

While organs yet were mute;
Timotheus, to his breathing fute

And sounding lyre,
Could swell the soul to rage, or kindle soft desire.

At last divine Cecilia came,

Inventress of the vocal frame;
The sweet enthusiast, from her sacred store,

Enlarg’d the former narrow bounds,

And added length to solemn sounds, With Nature's mother-wit, and arts unknown before.

Let old Timotheus yield the prize,

Or both divide the crown;
He rais'd a mortal to the skies,

She drew an angel down.

ODE To the pious Memory of the accomplished young Lady,

Mrs. ANNE KILLIGREW,
Excellent in the two Sister-Arts of Poesy and Painting.
THOU youngest virgin-daughter of the Skies,

Made in the last promotion of the bless'd;
Whose palms, new pluck'd from Paradise,
In spreading branches more sublimely rise,
Rich with immortal green above the rest :
Whether, adopted to some neighbouring, star,
Thou roll'st above us in thy wandering race,
Or, in procession fix'd and regular,
Mov'd with the heavn's majestic pace;
Or, call'd to more superior bliss,
Thou tread'st with seraphims, the vast abyss :
Whatever happy region is thy place,
Cease thy celestial song a little space ;
Thou wilt have time enough for hymns divine,
Since Heaven's eternal year is thine.
Hear, then, a mortal muse thy praise rehearse
In no ignoble verse;
But such as thy own voice did practise here,
When thy first fruits of poesy were giv'n
To make thyself a welcome inmate there;
While yet a young probationer,
And candidate of Heav'n.
If by traduction came thy mind,
Our wonder is the less to find
A soul so charming from a stock so good;
Thy father was transfus'd into thy blood :
So wert thou born into a tuneful strain,
An early, rich, and inexhausted vein,
But if thy pre-existing soul
Was form’d, at first with myriads more,
It did through all the mighty poets roll,
Who Greek or Latin laurels wore

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