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Congreve.

And at her Feet lay down
His golden Harp and laurel Crown,
The loft enervate Lyre is drown'd

In the deep Organ's more majestick Sound.
In Peals the dwelling Notes afcend the skies;
Perpetual Breath the iwelling Notes fupplies,
And lafting as her Name,

Who form'd the tuneful Frame,
Th' immortal Mufick never dies.

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Dryden.

Seine, gleichfalls für den Cåcilientag bestimmte, mufis kalische Ode, Alexander's Feaft, ift eins der herrlichsten Meis fterstücke der neuern Poesie; reich an zaubersvoller Mannichs faltigkeit der Bilder und Beschreibungen, an Schönheit und Wohlklang des Ausdrucks, und am wirkungsvollsten Wechs fel der Empfindung. Schon im J. 1687 schrieb er auf eben diese Veranlassung eine kürzere Ode auf die Harmonie, die gleichfalls sehr schöne Stellen hat. Gar sehr aber übertraf er sich selbst, und alle seine Vorgänger und Nachfolger, in gegenwärtiger Ode, die Pope in seinem Effay on Criticism sehr treffend charakterisirt:

Hear, how Timotheus' vary'd lays surprise,
And bid alternate paffions fall and rife!
While at each change the fon of Libyan Jove

Now burns with glory, and then melts with love:
Now his fierce eyes with sparkling fury glow,
Now fighs steal out, and tears begin to flow.
Perfians and Greeks like turns of nature found,
And the world's victor ftood fubdu'd by found.
The pow'r of mufic all our hearts allow,

And what Timotheus was, is Dryden now.
Uebrigens weiß man, daß Håndel, im J. 1735, dieß Meis
fterstück in eben so meisterhafte Musik seßte; und daß wir es
Hrn. Rarnler zu verdanken haben, der eiren deutschen Text,
mit Grundlage der Weißischen Ueberseßung, zu dieser Kom:
position einrichtete, daß diese lettre auch in Deutschland
bekannter geworden, und mehrmals von Kennern bewundert
ift.

ALEXANDER'S FEAST.

AN ODE

IN HONOUR OF ST. CECILIA'S DAY.

Dryden.

I.

'T

was at the royal feaft, for Perfia won By Philip's warlike fon:

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Aloft

374

Dryden. Aloft in awful ftate
The godlike hero fate
On his imperial throne :

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His valiant peers were plac'd around,
Their brows with rofes and with myrtles bound,
(So fhould defert in arms be crown 'd).

The lovely Thais by his fide

Sate like a blooming Eastern bride,
In flow'r of youth and beauty's pride.
Happy, happy, happy pair!

None but the brave,

None but the brave,

None but the brave deferves the fair.

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Timotheus, plac'd on high
Amid the tuneful quire,

With flying fingers touch'd the lyre;

The trembling notes afcend the sky,
And heav'nly joys inspire.

The fong began from Jove,
Who left his blissful feats above,

(Such is the pow'r of mighty love)

A dragon's fiery form bely'd the god;
Sublime on radiant fpires he rode,
When he to fair Olympia prest,

And while he fought her fnowy breaft;

Then round her flender waift he curl'd,

And framp'd an image of himself a fov'reign of the

world.

The lift'ning crowd admire the lofty found;

A prefent Deity! they fhoot around;

A prefent Deity! the vaulted roofs rebound.

With

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fung;

Of Bacchus, ever fair and ever young:

The jolly god in triumph comes;
Sound the trumpets, beat the drums:
Flufh'd with a purple grace,

He fhews his honeft face.

Now give the hautboys breath. He comes! he comes!

Bacchus! ever fair and young,

Drinking joys did firft ordain;
Bacchus bleffings are a treafure;

Drinking is the foldier's pleasure :
Rich the treasure,

Sweet the pleasure;

Sweet is pleasure after pain.

- CHORUS.

29

Bacchus' bleffings are a treafure; Drinking is the foldier's pleafure: „Rich the treasure,

,,Sweet the pleasure;

,Sweet is pleasure after pain."

IV.

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Sooth'd with the found the King grew vain,
Fought all his battles o'er again,

And thrice he routed all his foes, and thrice he
flew the flain.

The mafter faw the madness rise,

His glowing cheeks, his ardent eyes,
And while he heav'n and earth defyld,
Chang'd his hand, and check'd his pride.
He chofe a mournful Mufe,

Soft pity to infuse:

He fung Darius, great and good!
By too levere a fate

Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen,
Fallen from his high effate,
And welt'ring in his blood;
Deferted at his utmost need
By thofe, his former bounty fed;
On the bare earth expos'd he lies,
With not a friend to close his eyes.

With downcaft looks the joyless victor fate,
Revolving in his alter'd foul

The various turns of chance below;
And now and then a figh he ftole,
And tears began to flow.

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The mighty master fmil'd to fee
That love was in the next degree;
'Twas but a kindred found to move,
For pity melts the mind to love.

Softly

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