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Light they disperse, and with them go
To her they vow their truth, and are again believ'd.
Wisdom in sable garb array'd,
Immers'd in rapt'rous thought profound,
With leaden eye that loves the ground,
And Pity, dropping soft the sadly-pleasing tear.
Oh! gently on thy suppliant's head,
Not in thy Gorgon terrors clad,
Not circled with the vengeful band
(As by the impious thou art seen)
With thund'ring voice, and threat'ning mien,
Thy form benign, oh goddess, wear,
Thy philosophic train be there
To soften, not to wound my heart. The gen'rous spark extinct revive, Teach me to love, and to forgive, Exact my own defects to scan,
What others are to feel, and know myself a Man.
THE PROGRESS OF POESY.
A PINDARIC ODE.
Φωνᾶντα συνετοῖσιν' ἐς
AWAKE, Æolian lyre, awake,
And give to rapture all thy trembling strings.
A thousand rills their mazy progress take:
Ver. 1. Awake, Æolian lyre, awake] "Awake, my glory: awake, lute and harp." DAVID'S PSALMS.
VARIATION. "Awake, my lyre: my glory, wake."
Pindar styles his own poetry, with its musical accompaniments, Αἰοληΐς μολπὴ, Αἰόλιδες χορδαὶ Αἰολίδων πνοαὶ αὐλῶν, Æolian song, Æolian strings, the breath of the Eolian flute.
The subject and simile, as usual with Pindar, are united. The various sources of poetry, which give life and lustre to all it touches, are here described; its quiet majestic progress enriching every subject (otherwise dry and barren) with a pomp of diction and luxuriant harmony of numbers; and its more rapid and irresistible course, when swoln and hurried away by the conflict of tumultuous passions.
Now the rich stream of music winds along,
Through verdant vales, and Ceres' golden reign:
Headlong, impetuons, see it pour:
The rocks and nodding groves rebellow to the roar.
Oh! Sov'reign of the willing soul, · Parent of sweet and solemn-breathing airs, Enchanting shell! the sulien Cares
And frantic Passions hear thy soft control. On Thracia's hills the Lord of War
Has curb'd the fury of his car,
And dropp'd his thirsty lance at thy command.
Of Jove, thy magic lulls the feather'd king
Quench'd in dark clouds of slumber lie
The terror of his beak, and light'nings of his eye.
Thee the voice, the dance, obey,
Temper'd to thy warbled lay.
Ver. 13. Oh! Sov'reign of the willing soul] Power of harmony to calm the turbulent sallies of the soul. The thoughts are borrowed from the first Pythian of Pindar.
Ver. 20. Perching on the sceptred hand] This is a weak imitation of some beautiful lines in the same ode.
Ver. 25. Thee the voice, the dance, obey] Power of harmony to produce all the graces of motion in the body.