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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:
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 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,
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 defied,
Chang'd 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,
Fall'n, fall'n, fall'n, fall'n,
Fall'n from his high estate,
And welt'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 look the joyless victor sate,
Revolving in his alter'd soul
The various turns of fate below;
And now and then a sigh he stole,
And tears began to flow.
The mighty master smil❜d 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 Thäis 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,
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 oppress'd,
The vanquish'd victor sunk upon her breast.
Now strike the golden lyre again;
And 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 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 that 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 flute,
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...
ON THE DEATH OF MRS. THROCKMORTON'S BULFINCH.
YE nymphs! if e'er your eyes were red
With tears o'er hapless fav'rites shed,
O share Maria's grief!
Her fav'rite, even in his cage,
(What will not hunger's cruel rage ?)
Assassin'd by a thief.
Where Rhenus strays his vines among,
The egg was laid from which he sprung,
And though by nature mute,
Or only with a whistle blest,
Well-taught, he all the sounds express'd
Of flagelet or flute.
The honours of his ebon poll
Where brighter than the sleekest mole;
His bosom of the hue
With which Aurora decks the skies,
When piping winds shall soon arise
To sweep up all the dew.
Above, below, in all the house,
Dire foe alike to bird and mouse,
No cat had leave to dwell;
And Bully's cage supported stood,
On props of smoothest shaven wood,
Large built and lattic'd well.
Well lattic'd-but the grate, alas!
Not rough with wire of steel or brass,
For Bully's plumage sake,
But smooth with wauds from Ouse's side,
With which, when neatly peel'd and dried,
The swains their baskets make.
Night veil'd the pole. All seem'd secure,
When led by instinct sharp and sure,
Subsistence to provide,
A beast forth sallied on the scout,
Long back'd, long tail'd, with whisker'd snout,
And badger-colour'd hide.
He, ent'ring at the study door,
It's ample area 'gan explore;
And something in the wind
Conjectur'd, sniffing round and round,
Better than all the books he found,
Food, chiefly, for the mind.
Just then, by adverse fate impress'd,
A dream disturb'd poor Bully's rest;
In sleep he seem'd to view
A rat, fast clinging to his cage,
And, screaming at the sad presage,
Awoke and found it true.
For, aided both by ear, and scent,
Right to his mark the monster went-
Ah, Muse! forbear to speak
Minute the horrours that ensu'd;
His teeth were strong, the cage was wood-
He left poor Bully's beak.
He left it but he should have ta'en :
That beak, whence issued many a strain
Of such mellifluous tone,
Might have repaid him well, I wote,
For silencing so sweet a throat,
Fast set within his own.
Maria weeps The Muses mourn-
So when, by Bacchanalians torn,
On Thracian Hebrus' side
The tree-enchanter Orpheus fell,
His head alone remain'd to tell
The cruel death he died.
London: Printed by A. Hancock,
Middle Row Place, Holborn.