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1. O tHou by Nature taught,

To breathe her genuine Thought,
In Numbers warmly pure, and sweetly strong:

Who first on Mountains wild,

In Fancy loveliest Child, Thy Babe, or Pleasure's, nurs’d the Pow'rs of Song !

2. Thou, who with Hermit Heart

Disdain'st the Wealth of Art, And Gauds, and pageant Weeds, and trailing Pall:

But com'st a decent Maid

In Attic Robe array'd,
O chaste unboastful Nymph, to Thee I call !



By all the honey'd Store

On Hybla's Thymy Shore,
By all her Blooms, and mingled Murmurs dear,

By Her *, whose Love-lorn Woe,

In Ev'ning Musings slow
Sooth'd sweetly sad Electra's Poet's Ear:

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4. By old Cephisus deep,

Who spread his wavy Sweep In warbled Wand'rings round thy green Retreat,

* The ångúv, or Nightingale, for which Sophocles seems to have entertain'd a peculiar Fondness.

On whose enamel'd Side

When holy Freedom died
No equal Haunt allur'd thy future Feet.

O Sister meek of Truth,
To my admiring Youth,
Thy sober Aid and native Charms infuse !

The Flow'rs that sweetest breathe,

Tho' Beauty culld the Wreath, Still ask thy Hand to range their order'd Hues.

6. While Rome could none esteem

But Virtue's Patriot Theme, You lov'd her Hills, and led her Laureate Band :

But staid to sing alone

To one distinguish'd Throne, And turn'd thy Face, and fled her alter'd Land.

7. No more, in Hall or Bow'r,

The Passions own thy Pow'r,
Love, only Love her forceless Numbers mean:

For Thou hast left her Shrine,

Nor Olive more, nor Vine,
Shall gain thy Feet to bless the servile Scene.

8. Tho' Taste, tho' Genius bless,

To some divine Excess, Faints the cold Work till Thou inspire the whole ;

What each, what all supply, May court, may charm, our Eye; Thou, only Thou, can’st raise the meeting Soul !

Of These let others ask,

To aid some mighty Task,
I only seek to find thy temprate Vale:

Where oft my Reed might sound

To Maids and Shepherds round, And all thy Sons, Nature, learn my Tale.


As once, if not with light Regard,

I read aright that gifted Bard,
(Him whose School above the rest
His Loveliest Elfin Queen has blest.)
One, only One, unrival'd Fair *,
Might hope the magic Girdle wear,
At solemn Turney hung on high,
The Wish of each love-darting Eye;
Lo! to each other Nymph in turn applied,

As if, in Air unseen, some hov'ring Hand,
Some chaste and Angel-Friend to Virgin-Fame,

With whisper'd Spell had burst the starting Band, It left unblest her loath'd dishonour'd Side;

Happier hopeless Fair, if never

Her baffled Hand with vain Endeavour
Had touch'd that fatal Zone to her denied !
Young Fancy thus, to me Divinest Name,

To whom, prepar'd and bath'd in Heav'n,
The Cest of amplest Pow'r is giv’n :
To few the God-like Gift assigns,

To gird their blest prophetic Loins,
And gaze her Visions wild, and feel unmix'd her

2. The Band, as Fairy Legends

say, Was wove on that creating Day, When He, who call'd with Thought to Birth Yon tented Sky, this laughing Earth,

* Florimel. See Spenser Leg. 4th.

And drest with Springs, and Forests tall,
And pour'd the Main engirting all,
Long by the lov'd Enthusiast wood,
Himself in some Diviner Mood,
Retiring, sate with her alone,
And plac'd her on his Saphire Throne,
The whiles, the vaulted Shrine around,
Seraphic Wires were heard to sound,
Now sublimest Triumph swelling,
Now on Love and Mercy dwelling;
And she, from out the veiling cloud,
Breath'd her magic Notes aloud:
And Thou, Thou rich-hair'd Youth of Morn,
And all thy subject Life was born!
The dang’rous Passions kept aloof,
Far from the sainted growing Woof:
But near it sate Ecstatic Wonder,
List’ning the deep applauding Thunder;
And Truth, in sunny Vest array'd,
By whose the Tarsel's Eyes were made;
All the shad'wy Tribes of Mind,
In braided Dance their Murmurs join'd,
And all the bright uncounted Pow'rs
Who feed on Heav'n's ambrosial Flow'rs.
Where is the Bard, whose Soul can now
Its high presuming Hopes avow ?
Where He who thinks, with Rapture blind,
This hallow'd Work for Him design'd ?

High on some Cliff, to Heav'n up-pild,
Of rude Access, of Prospect wild,
Where, tangled round the jealous Steep,
Strange Shades o'erbrow the Valleys deep,
And holy Genii guard the Rock,
Its Gloomes embrown, its Springs unlock,

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