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By turns they felt the glowing mind Disturb'd, delighted, rais'd, refin'd; Till once, 'tis said, when all were fir'd, Fill'd 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, Ev'n 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 call'd on Echo still through 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 wav'd her golden hair:
And longer had she sung-but with a frown
He threw his blood-stain'd sword in thunder down,
The war-denouncing trumpet took,
The doubling drum with furious heat; And though 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 from his head.
Thy numbers, Jealousy, to nought were fix'd;
Of differing themes the veering song was mix'd,
With eyes uprais'd, as one inspir'd,
And from her wild sequester'd seat,
In notes by distance made more sweet,
Pour'd through the mellow horn her pensive soul..
Through glades and glooms the mingled measure
Or o'er some haunted stream with fond delay,
Love of peace and lonely musing,
But, O! how alter'd was its sprightly tone
Her buskins gemm'd with morning dew,
Satyrs and sylvan boys, were seen
Peeping forth from their alleys green;
Brown Exercise rejoic'd to hear,
And Sport leap'd up, and seiz'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, Amid the festal sounding shades
To some unwearied minstrel dancing,
While, as his flying fingers kiss'd the strings,
As if he would the charming air repay,
O Music! sphere-descended maid,
Thy mimic soul, O nymph endear'd!
THE AGED BEGGAR.
"TELL me O Mother, when I grow old,
"He said-but I knew not what he meant,-
And he told how his kindred there were laid,
"He spoke of a home where in childhood's glee, He chas'd from the wild flowers the singing bee; And follow'd afar, with a heart as light
As its sparkling wings, the butterfly's flight; And pull'd young flowers, where they grew 'neath the beams
Of the sun's fair light, by his own blue streams; Yet he left all these through the earth to roam! Why, O mother, did he leave his home?"
"Calm thy young thoughts, my own fair child! The fancies of youth and age are beguil'd;Though pale grow thy cheeks, and thy hair turn grey, Time cannot steal the soul's youth away!
There's a land of which thou hast heard me speak, Where age never wrinkles the dweller's cheek; But in joy they live, fair boy, like thee;
It was there the old man long'd to be.
"For he knew that those with whom he had play'd, In his heart's young joy, 'neath their cottage shade
Whose love he shar'd, when their songs and mirth