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Thus old Romano bowed to Raphael's fame,
And scholar to the youth he taught became.

O that your brows my laurel had sustained!
Well had I been deposed, if you had reigned:
The father had descended for the son,
For only you are lineal to the throne.
Thus when the state one Edward did depose,
A greater Edward in his room arose.

But now, not I, but poetry, is curst,

For Tom the second reigns like Tom the first.
But let 'em not mistake my patron's part,
Nor call his charity their own desart.
Yet this I prophesy: thou shalt be seen,
Though with some short parenthesis between,
High on the throne of wit, and, seated there,
Not mine-that's little-but thy laurel wear.
Thy first attempt an early promise made;
That early promise this has more than paid.
So bold, yet so judiciously you dare,
That your least praise is to be regular:

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Time, place, and action may with pains be wrought;
But genius must be born, and never can be taught.
This is your portion, this your native store:
Heav'n, that but once was prodigal before,

To Shakespeare gave as much; she could not give him

more.

Maintain your post; that's all the fame you need,
For 't is impossible you should proceed.
Already I am worn with cares and age,
And just abandoning th' ungrateful stage;
Unprofitably kept at Heav'n's expense,
I live a rent-charge on His providence.
But you, whom ev'ry Muse and Grace adorn,
Whom I foresee to better fortune born,
Be kind to my remains; and oh, defend,
Against your judgment, your departed friend!
Let not the insulting foe my fame pursue,
But shade those laurels which descend to you;
And take for tribute what these lines express-
You merit more, nor could my love do less.
1693.

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ALEXANDER'S FEAST; OR, THE POWER OF MUSIC

A SONG IN HONOUR OF ST. CECILIA'S DAY, 1697

I

'T was at the royal feast for Persia won
By Philip's warlike son:
Aloft, in awful state,

The godlike hero sate

On his imperial throne;

His valiant peers were placed around,
Their brows with roses and with myrtles bound
(So should desert in arms be crowned);
The lovely Thais; by his side,

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 deserves the fair.

CHORUS

Happy, happy, happy pair!

None but the brave,

None but the brave,

None but the brave deserves the fair.

II

Timotheus, placed on high
Amid the tuneful quire,
With flying fingers touched the lyre;
The trembling notes ascend the sky,
And heav'nly joys inspire.
The song began from Jove,
Who left his blissful seats above
(Such is the pow'r of mighty love):
A dragon's fiery form belied the god;

Sublime on radiant spires he rode,
When he to fair Olympia pressed,
And while he sought her snowy breast;
Then round her slender waist he curled,

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And stamped 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 ravished ears
The monarch hears;

Assumes the god,
Affects to nod,

And seems to shake the spheres.

CHORUS

With ravished ears

The monarch hears;

Assumes the god,
Affects to nod,

And seems to shake the spheres.

III

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!
Flushed 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.

CHORUS

Bacchus' blessings are a treasure;
Drinking is the soldier's pleasure;

Rich the treasure,

Sweet the pleasure,

Sweet is pleasure after pain.

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IV

Soothed 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 heaven and earth defied,
Changed his hand and checked 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 welt'ring 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 altered soul

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

CHORUS

Revolving in his altered soul

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

V

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,

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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 crowned, but Music won the cause.
The prince, unable to conceal his pain,

Gazed on the fair

Who caused his care,

And sighed and looked, sighed and looked,
Sighed and looked, and sighed again:
At length, with love and wine at once oppressed,
The vanquished victor sunk upon her breast.

CHORUS

The prince, unable to conceal his pain,
Gazed on the fair

Who caused his care,

And sighed and looked, sighed and looked,
Sighed and looked, and sighed again:
At length, with love and wine at once oppressed,
The vanquished victor sunk upon her breast.

VI

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!

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