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WILLIAM COLLINS

THE PASSIONS.

1

An Ode for Music.
WHEN Music, heavenly maid, was young,
The Passions oft, to hear her shell,
Throng'd around her magic cell,
Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting,
Possest beyond the Muse's painting ;
By turns they felt the glowing mind
Disturb'd, delighted, rais'd, refin'd:
Till once, 'tis said, when all were fir'd;
Filld with fury, rapt, inspir'd,
From the supporting myrtles round
They snatch'd her instruments of sound;
And, as they oft had heard apart
Sweet lessons of her forceful art,
Each, for Madness rul'd the hour,
Would prove his own expressive power,
First Fear, his hand its skill to try,

Amid the chords bewilder'd laid,
And back recoil'd, he knew not why,

E'en at the sound himself had made.

Next Anger rush'd, his eyes on fire,

In lightnings own’d his secret stings, In one rude clash he struck the lyre,

And swept with hurried hand the strings. With woeful measures, wan Despair,

Low sullen sounds, his grief beguil'd; A solemn, strange, and mingled air,

'Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild. But thou, O Hope, with eyes so fair,

What was thy delighted measure ?
Still it whisper'd promis'd pleasure,

And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail;
Still would her touch the strain prolong,

And from the rocks, the woods, the vale,
She callid on Echo still thro' all the song ;
And where her sweetest theme she chose,
A soft responsive voice was heard at every close,
And Hope enchanted smil'd, and war'd her golden

hair. And longer had she sung-but, with a frown,

Revenge impatient rose,
He threw his blood-stain'd sword in thunder down,

And, with a withering look,
The war-denouncing trumpet took,
And blew a blast so loud and dread,
Were ne'er prophetic sounds so full of woe.
And ever and anon he beat

The doubling drum with furious heat;
And tho' sometimes, each dreary pause between,

Dejected Pity at his side

Her soul-subduing voice applied, Yet still he kept his wild unalter'd mien; While each strain'd ball of sight seem'd bursting froin

his head. Thy numbers, Jealousy, to nought were fix'd,

Sad proof of thy distressful state! Of differing themes the veering song was mix'd, And now it courted Love, now raving call'd on

Hate. With eyes uprais'd, as one inspir'd, Pale Melancholy sat retir'd, And from her wild sequester'd seat, In notes by distance made more sweet, Pour'd thro' the mellow horn her pensive soul :

And dashing soft from rocks around,

Bubbling runnels join'd the sound; Thro' glades and glooms the mingled measures stole Or o'er some haunted streams with fond delay,

Round an holy calm diffusing,

Love of peace, and lonely musing, In hollow murmurs died away.

But, o, how alter'd was its sprightlier tone! When Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthiest hue,

Her bow across her shoulder flung,

Her buskins gemm'd with morning dew, Blew an aspiring air, that dale and thicket rung,

The hunter's call to Faun and Dryad known; The oak-crown'd sisters,and their chaste-ey'd queen, Satyrs and sylvan boys, were seen

Peeping from forth their alleys green; Brown Exercise rejoic'd to hear,

And Sport leap'd up, and siez d his beechen spear. Last came Joy's ecstatic trial. He, with viny crown advancing,

First to the lively pipe his hand address'd,
But soon he saw the brisk-awakening viol,
Whose sweet entrancing voice he lov'd the best.

They would have thought, who heard the strain,
They saw in Tempe's vale her native maids,

Amidst the festal sounding shades,
To some unwearied minstrel dancing,
While, as his flying fingers kiss'd the strings,
Love fram'd with Mirth a gay fantastic round;
Loose were her tresses seen, her zone unbound,

And he, amidst his frolic play,
As if he would the charming air repay,
Shook thousand odors from his dewy wings.

O Music, sphere-descended maid,
Friend of pleasure, wisdom's aid,
Why, Goddess, why, to us deny'd,
Lay'st thou thy ancient lyre aside?
As in that lov'd Athenian bower,
You learn'd an all-commanding power,
Thy mimic soul, O nymph endear'd,
Can well recal what then it heard.
Where is thy native simple heart,
Devote to virtue, fancy, art?
Arise, as in that elder time,
Warm, energetic, chaste, sublime!

Thy wonders, in that godlike age,
Fill thy recording sister's page-
'Tis said, and I believe the tale,
Thy humblest reed could more prevail,
Had more of strength, diviner rage,
Than all which charms this laggard age,
Ev'n all at once together found
Cæcilia's mingled world of sound
O, bid our vain endeavours cease,
Revive the just designs of Greece,
Return in all thy simple state,
Confirm the tales her sons relate!

ODE TO FEAR. THOU, to whom the world unknown,

With all its shadowy shapes, is shewa; Who seest, appall'd, the unreal scene, While Fancy lifts the veil between:

Ah Fear! ah frantic Fear!

I see, I see thee near. I know thy hurried step; thy haggard eye! Like thee I start; like thee disorder'd fly. For lo, what mousters in thy train appear! Danger, whose limbs of giant mould What mortal eye can fix'd behold? Who stalks his round, an hideous form, Howling amidst the midnight storm; Or throws him on the ridgy steep Of some loose hanging rock to sleep: And with him thousand phantoms join'd, Who prompt to deeds accurs'd the mind : And those, the fiends, who, near allied, O'er Nature's wounds, and wrecks, preside; Whilst Vengeance, in the lurid air, Lifts her red arm, expos'd and bare : On whom that ravening brood of Fate Who lap the blood of sorrow wait :

Who, Fear, this ghastly train can see,
And look not madly wild, like thee?

EPODE.
In earliest Greece, to thee, with partial choice,

The grief-full Muse addrest her infant tongue ;
The maids and matrons, on her awful voice,

Silent and pale, in wild amazement hung. Yet he, the bard who first invok'd thy name,

Disdain'd in Marathon its power to feel : For not alone he nurs'd the poet's flame,

But reach'd from Virtue's hand the patriot's steel. But who is he whom later garlands grace;

Who left a while o'er Hybla's dews to rove, With trembling eyes thy dreary steps to trace,

Where thou and furies shar'd the baleful grove! Wrapt in thy cloudy veil, th' incestuous queen

Sigh'd the sad call her son and husband heard, When once alone it broke the silent scene,

And he the wretch of Thebes no more appear'd. O Fear, I know thee by my tlırobbing heart:

Thy withering power inspir'd each mournful line: Though gentle Pity claim her mingled part,

Yet all the thunders of the scene are thine!

ANTISTROPHE.
Thou who such weary lengths hast past,
Where wilt thou rest, mad Nymph, at last ?
Say, wilt thou shroud in haunted cell,
Where gloomy Rape and Murder dwell?

Or, in some hollow'd seat,

'Gainst which the big waves beat, Hear drowning seamen's cries, in tempests brought? Dark power, with shudd'ring meek submitted

thought. Be mine to read the visions old Which thy awakening bards have told:

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