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Which when to ripeness due they growen are,
Bring forth an infinite increase, that breedes
Tumultuous trouble, and contentious jarre,
The which must often end in bloodshed and in
YE nymphs of Solyma, begin the song :
To heav'nly themes sublimer strains belong.
fountains and the sylvan shades,
The dreams of Pindus and th’ Aonian maids,
Delight no more. O Thou, my voice inspire,
Who touch'd Isaiah's hallow'd lips with fire !
Rapt into future times, the bard begun : 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, From storms a shelter, and from heat a shade. All crimes shall cease, and ancient frauds shall
Returning justice lift aloft her scale ;
Peace o'er the world her olive-wand extend,
And white-robed Innocence from heaven descend.
Swift fly the years, and rise th' expected morn ;
Oh, spring to light ! auspicious Babe, be born!
See, Nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring,
With all th' incense of the breathing spring;
See lofty Lebanon his head advance;
See nodding forests on the mountains dance ;
See spicy clouds from lowly Sharon rise,
And Carmel's flow'ry top perfume the skies !
Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers :
Prepare the way! a God, a God appears !
A God! a God! the vocal hills reply;
The rocks proclaim th' approaching Deity.
Lo, earth receives Him from the bending skies ;
Sink down, ye mountains; and, ye valleys, rise;
With heads declin’d, ye cedars, homage pay ;
Be smooth, ye rocks; ye rapid floods, give way!
The Saviour comes, by ancient bards foretold ;
Hear him, ye deaf ; and all ye blind, behold !
He from thick films shall purge the visual ray,
And on the sightless eyeball pour the day ;
'Tis He th' obstructed paths of sound shall clear,
And bid new music charm th’ unfolding ear ;
The dumb shall sing, the lame his crutch forego,
And leap exulting like the bounding roe :
No sigh, no murmur, the wide world shall hear;
From every face He wipes off every tear.
In adamantine chains shall Death be bound,
And hell's grim tyrant feel th' eternal wound.
As the good shepherd tends his fleecy care,
Seeks freshest pasture, and the purest air ;
Explores the lost, the wand'ring sheep directs,
By day o'ersees them, and by night protects ;
The tender lambs he raises in his arms,
Feeds from his hand, and in his bosom warms—
Thus shall mankind His guardian care engage,
The promis’d Father of the future age.
No more shall nation against nation rise,
Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful eyes,
Nor fields with gleaming steel be cover'd o'er,
The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more ;
But useless lances into scythes shall bend,
And the broad falchion in a ploughshare end :
Then palaces shall rise ; the joyful son
Shall finish what his short-liv'd sire begun;
Their vines a shadow to their race shall yield,
And the same hand that sow'd shall reap the field.
The swain in barren deserts with surprise
Sees lilies spring, and sudden verdure rise ;
And starts, amidst the thirsty wilds, to hear
New falls of water murmuring in his ear.
I BROKE the spell that held me long,
The dear, dear witchery of song.
I said, the poet's idle lore
Shall waste my prime of years no more ;
For poetry, though heavenly born,
Consorts with poverty and scorn.
I broke the spell—nor deemed its power
Could fetter me another hour.
Ah, thoughtless ! how could I forget ?
Its causes were around me yet ;
For wheresoe'er I look’d, the while
Was nature's everlasting smile.
Still came and linger'd on my sight,
Of flowers and stars, the bloom and light,
And glory of the stars and sun ;-
And these and poetry are one ;
They ere the world had held me long
Recall’d me to the love of song.
FROM THE PROLOGUE TO THE SATIRES AD
DRESSED TO ARBUTHNOT BY POPE.
Shut up the door, good John! fatigued, I said,
Tie up the knocker, say I'm sick,- I'm dead.
The dog-star rages ! nay, 'tis past a doubt,
All Bedlam or Parnassus is let out :
Fire in each eye, and papers in each hand,
They rave, recite, and madden round the land.
What walls can guard me, or what shades can
hide? They pierce my thickets, through my grot they
glide ; By land, by water, they renew the charge ; They stop the chariot, and they board the barge. No place is sacred, not the church is free. Even Sunday shines no Sabbath-day to me;
Then from the Mint walks forth the man of rhyme,
Happy to catch me just at dinner-time.
Is there a mortal much bemused in beer,
A maudlin poetess, a rhyming peer,
A clerk foredoomed his father's soul to cross,
Who pens a stanza, when he should
Is there, who, locked from ink and paper, scrawls
With desperate charcoal round his darkened walls ?
All fly to Twick’nham, and in humble strain
Apply to me to keep them, mad or vain.
What drop or nostrum can this plague remove ?
Or which must end me, a fool's wrath or love ?
A dire dilemma! either way I'm sped ;
If foes, they write ; if friends, they read me dead.
Seized, and tied down to judge, how wretched I;
Who can't be silent, and who will not lie:
To laugh were want of goodness and of grace ;
And to be grave exceeds all power of face.
I sit with sad civility; I read
With honest anguish and with aching head,
And drop at last, but in unwilling ears,
This saving counsel, “Keep your piece nine years."
Nought is there under heaven's wide hollowness That moves more dear compassion of the mind, Than beauty brought tunworthy wretchedness Through envy's snares, or fortune's freaks un