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O fend her fure, her fteady Ray
To regulate my doubtful Way,
Thro' Life's perplexing Road:
The Mifts of Error to controul,
And thro' it's Gloom direct my Soul
To Happiness and Good.
Beneath her clear discerning Eye
The vifionary Shadows fly
Of Folly's painted Show:
She fees, thro' ev'ry fair Disguife,
That all, but Virtue's folid Joys,
Is Vanity and Woe.
S. B. I. S. 425. Von seinen dreizehn Oden, die fast alle moralischen Inhalts find, ist die auf die Leidens schaften, welche zur musikalischen Komposition bestimmt war, eine der schönsten und berühmtesten. Auch ohne Beiz hülfe der Musik ist ihr Eindruck ungemein wirksam und leb haft; und wenn der Dichter gleich nicht sein Sylbenmaaß nach dem Charakter der verschieduen hier geschilderten Leis denschaften abgeändert hat; so ist doch das Kolorit dieser Schilderungen nichts weniger als matt und einförmig. Man vergleiche z. B. die Gemählde der Verzweifelung und Hoffs nung, der Schwermuth und Heiterkeit, die in ihrer Art vor: züglich meisterhaft sind. Auffallend ist übrigens, was auch sein Freund Langhorne, bei der Herausgabe seiner Gedichte, bemerkte, daß keines von seinen Gedichten der Liebe ges widmet, oder daß er, wie L. es ausdrückt, einer von den wes nigen Poeten ist, die nach Delphi schifften, ohne die Insel Cythere zu berühren. Selbst in dieser Ode, worin man es am wenigsten erwarten durfte, übergieng er die Leidenschaft der Liebe.
When Mufick, heavenly Maid, was young,
While yet in early Greece fhe fung,
The Paffions oft, to hear her fhell,
Throng'd around her magick cell;
Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting,
Poffefs'd beyond the Miule's painting,
By turns they felt the glowing mind
Disturb'd, delighted, rais'd, refin'd;
Till once, it is faid, when all were fir'd,
Fill'd with fury, wrapt, infpir'd,
Beisp. Samml. 4. B.
Collins. From the fupporting myrtles round
They fnatch'd her inftruments of sound;
And as they oft' had heard apart
Sweet leffons of her forceful art,
Each, for Madnefs rul'd the hour,
Would prove his own expreffive power.
First Fear his hand, its skill to try,
Amid the chords bewilder'd laid,
And back recoil'd, he knew not why,
Ev'n at the found himself had made.
Next Anger rufh'd, his eyes on fire
In light'nings own'd his fecret ftings;
In one rude clafh he ftruck the lyre,
And swept with hurry'd hand the ftrings.
With woeful measures wan Defpair-
Low fullen founds his grief beguil'd;
A folemn, ftrange and mingled air!
'Twas fad by fits, by ftarts it was wild.
But Thou, o Hope! with eyes fo fair,
What was thy delighted measure?
Still it whisper'd promis'd pleasure,
And bade the lovely fcenes at diftance hail!
Still would her touch the strain prolong,
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale,
She call'd on Fcho ftill thro' all the fong;
And where her sweetest theme fhe chofe,
A foft refponfive voice was heard at ev'ry close;
And Hope enchanted fmil'd, and wav'd her golden
And longer had fhe fung - but with a frown
Revenge impatient rofe;
He threw his blood- ftain'd fword in thunder down,
And with a withering look
The war-denouncing trumpet took,
And blew a blast so loud and dread,
Were ne'er prophetick founds fo full of woe;
And ever and anon he beat
The doubling drum with furious heat;
And tho' fometimes, each dreary pause between,
Dejected Pity at his fide
Her foul-fubduing voice apply'd,
Yet ftill he kept his wild unalter'd mien,
While each ftrain'd ball of fight feem'd burfting
from his head.
Thy numbers, Jealoufy! to nought were fix'd;
Sad proof of thy diftressful state;
Of diff'ring themes the veering fong was mix'd,
And now it courted Love, now raving call'd on Hate.
With eyes up-rais'd, as one infpir'd,
Pale Melancholy fat retir'd,
And from her wild fequefter'd feat,
In notes by distance made more 1weet,
Pour'd thro' the mellow horn her penfive foul,
And dafhing foft from rocks around
Bubbling runnels join'd the found;
Thro' glades and glooms the mingled measure stole,
Or o'er fome haunted ftreams with fond delay,
Round an holy calm diffufing,
Love of peace and lonely mufing,
In hollow murmurs dy'd away,
But o how alter'd was its fprightlier tone!
When Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthieft hue,
Her bow acrofs her fhoulders flung,
Her bufkins gemm'd with morning dew,
Blew an infpiring air, that dale and thicket rung,
The hunter's call to Faun and Dryad known;
The oak crown'd fifters, and their chafte-ey'd queen,
Satyrs and Sylvan boys were seen
Peeping from forth their alleys green;
Brown Exercife rejoic'd to hear,
And Sport leapt up, and feiz'd his beechen spear.
Laft came Joy's ecstatick trial:
He with viny crown advancing,
First to the lively pipe his hand addreft,
But foon he faw the brifk-awakening viol,
Whole fweet entrancing voice he lov'd the best.
They would have thought, who heard the ftrain,
They faw in Tempe's vale her native maids
Amidst the feftal founding fhades
To fome unweary'd minstrel dancing,
Collins. While, as his flying fingers kifs'd the ftrings,
Love fram'd with Mirth a gay fantastick round;
Loofe were her treffes feen, her Zone unbound,
And he, amidst his frolick play,
As if he would the charming air repay,
Shook thousand odours from his dewy wings.
O Mufick! fphere-defcended maid,
Friend of Pleasure, Wisdom's aid,
Why, Goddess! why to us deny'd?
Lay'ft thou thy ancient lyre afide?
As in that lov'd Athenian bow'r
You learn'd an all-commanding pow'r,
Thy mimick foul, o Nymph endear'd!
Can well recall what then it heard.
Where is thy native fimple heart,
Devote to virtue, fancy, art?
Arife, as in that elder time,
Warm, energick, chafte, fublime!
Thy wonders in that god-like age
Fill thy recording fifter's page -
'Tis faid, and I believe the tale,
Thy humbleft reed could more prevail,
Had more of ftrength, diviner rage,
Than all which charms this laggard age;
Ev'n all at once together found
Caecilia's mingled world of found
O bid our vain endeavours cease,
Revive the juft defigns of Greece;
Return in all thy fimple ftate;
Confirm the tales her fons relate!