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Gay hope is theirs by fancy fed,
Alas, regardless of their doom, The little victims play! No sense have they of ills to come, Nor care beyond to-day: Yet see how all around 'em wait The ministers of human fate, And black Misfortune's baleful train ! Ah, shew them where in ambush stand To seize their prey the murth'rous band! Ah! tell them, they are men!
These shall the fury Passions tear, The vultures of the mind, Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear, And Shame that skulks behind; Or pining Love shall waste their youth, Or Jealousy with rankling tooth, That inly gnaws the secret heart, And Envy wan, and faded Care, Grim-visag'd comfortless Despair, And Sorrow's piercing dart.
Ambition this shall tempt to rise, Then whirl the wretch from high, To bitter Scorn a sacrifice, And grinning Infamy. The stings of Falsehood those shall try, And hard Unkindness' alter'd eye,
That mocks the tear it forc'd to flow;
Lo, in the vale of years beneath
To each his suff"rings : all are men,
DAUGHTER of Jove, relentless Power,
When first thy sire to send on earth
Scared at thy frown terrific, fly
By vain Prosperity receiv'd,
Wisdom in sable garb array'd
Oh, gently on thy suppliant's head,
Thy form benign, oh Goddess, wear,
THE PROGRESS OF POESY.
Φωναντα συνετοισιν ες
PINDAR. Olymp. II.
I. I. AWAKE, Æolian lyre, awake, And give to rapture all thy trembling strings, From Helicon's harmonious springs A thousand rills their mazy progress take: The laughing flowers, that round them blow, Drink life and fragrance as they flow. Now the rich stream of music winds along Deep, majestic, smooth, and strong, Through verdant vales, and Ceres' golden reign: Now rolling down the steep amain, Headlong, impetuous, see it pour: The rocks, and nodding groves rebellow to the roar.
I. 2. • Oh! Sovereign of the willing soul, Parent of sweet and solemn-breathing airs,
• When the Author first published this and the following Ode, he was advised, even by his friends, to subjoin some few explanatory notes; but he had too much respect for the understanding of his readers to take that liberty.
The subject and simile, as usual with Pindar, are united. The various sources of poetry, which gives life and lustre to all it touches, are here described; its quiet majestic progress enriching every subject otherwise dry and barren) with a pomp of diction and luxuriant harmony of numbers ; and its more rapid and irresistible course, when swoln and hurried away by the conflict of tumultuous passions.
c Power of harmony to calm the turbulent sallies of the soul. The thoughts are borrowed from the first Pythian of Pindar.