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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 heaven and earth defied —
Changed his hand, and check’d his pride.
He chose a mournful muse,
Soft Pity to infuse :
He sang Darius great and good !
By too severe a fate,
Fallen ! fallen ! fallen! fallen !
Fallen from his high estate,
And weltering 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 look the joyless victor sat,
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 smiled to see
That love was in the next degree :
> 'was 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 :
Honor but an empty bubble ;
Never ending, still beginning,
Fighting still, and still destroying.
If the world be worth thy winning,
Think, oh 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 crown'd; but music won the cause.
The prince unable to conceal his pain,
Gazed on the fair
Who caused 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 — sank upon her breast !
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 !
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 glittering temples of their hostile gods ! -
The princes applaud, with furious joy;
And the king seized a flambeau, with zeal to destroy';
Thais led the way,
To light him to his prey !
And, like another Helen fired — another Troy.
But when the powers descending swell’d the fight,
Then tumult rose, fierce rage, and pale affright;
Now through the trembling shores Minerva calls,
And now she thunders from the Grecian walls.
Mars hov’ring o'er his Troy, his terror shrouds,
In gloomy tempests, and a night of clouds;
Now through each Trojan heart he fury pours,
With voice diyine, from Ilion's topmost towers.
Above, the Sire of Gods his thunder rolls,
And peals on peals redoubled rend the poles.
Beneath, stern Neptune shakes the solid ground,
The forests wave, the mountains nod around :
Through all her summits tremble Ida's woods,
And from their sources boil her hundred floods.
Troy's turrets totter on the rocking plain,
And the toss'd navies beat the heaving main.
Deep in the dismal region of the dead,
Th' infernal monarch rears his infernal head,
Leapt from his throne, lest Neptune's arms should lay
His dark dominions open to the day;
And pour in light on Pluto's drear abodes,
Abhorr’d by men and dreadful e'en to gods.
Such wars th' immortals wage; such horrors rend
The world's vast concave, when the gods contend.
All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Whose body Nature is, and God the soul;
That, changed through all, and yet in all the same,
Great in the earth, as in the ethereal frame;
Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees;
Lives through all life, extends through all extent;
Spreads undivided, operates unspent;
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part,
As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart;
As full, as perfect, in vile man that mourns,
As the rapt seraph that adores and burns :
To him no high, no low, no great, no small;
He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all.
Cease then, nor order imperfection name :
Our proper bliss depends on what we blame.
Know thy own point: This kind, this due degree
Of blindness, weakness, Heaven bestows on thee.
Submit. — In this or any other sphere,
Secure to be as bless'd as thou canst bear :
Safe in the hand of one disposing power,
Or in the natal, or the mortal hour.
All nature is but art, unknown to thee;
All chance, direction, which thou canst not see ;
All discord, harmony not understood ;
All partial evil, universal good;
And spite of pride, in erring reason's spite,
One truth is clear, Whatever is, is right.
PRESENT CONDITION OF MAN VINDICATED.
HEAV'N from all creatures hides the book of Fate,
All but the page prescribed, their present state;
From brutes what men, from men what spirits know;
Or who could suffer Being here below :
The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day,
Had he thy Reason, would he skip and play ?
Pleased to the last, he crops the flowery food,
And licks the hand just raised to shed his blood.
Oh, blindness to the future! kindly given,
That each may fill the circle mark'd by Heav'n :
Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,
Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd,
And now a bubble burst, and now a world.
Hope humbly then ; with trembling pinions soar ;
Wait the great teacher Death ; and God adore.
What future bliss, he gives not thee to know,
But gives that hope to be thy blessing now.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never Is, but always To be blest :
The soul, uneasy, and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
Lo, the poor Indian ! whose untutor’d mind
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind;