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Behold how they toss their torches on high,
And glittering temples of their hostile gods. .
-The princes applaud with a 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 !
-Thus, long ago,
Ere heaving bellows learn'd to blow,
While organs yet were mute,
Timotheus, to his breathing flute
And sounding lyre
Could swell the soul to rage, or kindle soft desire.
At last divine Cecilia came,
Inventress of the vocal frame;
The sweet enthusiast from her sacred store
Enlarged the former narrow bounds,
And added length to solemn sounds,
With Nature's mother-wit, and arts unknown before.
-Let old Timotheus yield the prize
ODE TO SAINT CECILIA.
FROM Harmony, from heavenly Harmony
This universal frame began:
When Nature underneath a heap
Of jarring atoms lay
And could not heave her head,
Then cold, and hot, and moist, and dry
Through all the compass of the notes it ran,
What passion cannot music raise and quell?
Less than a God they thought there could not dwell
That spoke so sweetly and so well.
What passion cannot Music raise and quell?
The trumpet's loud clangor
Excites us to arms,
With shrill notes of anger
The double double double beat
Of the thundering drum
The soft complaining flute
The woes of hopeless lovers,
Whose dirge is whisper'd by the warbling lute.
Sharp violins proclaim
Their jealous pangs and desperation,
Depth of pains, and height of passion
But oh! what art can teach,
The sacred organ's praise?
Orpheus could lead the savage race,
But bright Cecilia raised the wonder higher:
As from the power of sacred lays
So when the last and dreadful hour
YE nymphs of Solyma! begin the song
To heavenly themes sublimer strains belong. The mossy fountains and the sylvan shades, The dreams of Pindus and the Aonian maids, Delight no more—O thou my voice inspire Who touched Isaiah's hallowed lips with fire! Rapt into future times the bard began : A virgin shall conceive—a virgin bear a son! From Jesse's root behold a branch arise Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies: Th' ethereal spirit o'er its leaves shall move, And on its top descends the mystic dove. Ye heavens! from high the dewy nectar pour, And in soft silence shed the kindly shower!
The sick and weak the healing plant shall aid—
Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend,
The dumb shall sing; the lame his crutch forego,