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Till, by degrees, remote and small,
And melt away,
By Music, minds an equal temper know,
Nor swell too high, nor sink too low. If in the breast tumultuous joys arise, Music her soft, assuasive voice applies ;
Or, when the soul is press’d with cares,
Exalts her in enlivening airs.
Melancholy lifts her head,
Listening Envy drops her snakes;
But when our country's cause provokes to arms,
While Argo saw her kindred trees 40
Descend from Pelion to the main.
Inflamed with glory's charms :
And seas, and rocks, and skies rebound
But when, through all the infernal bounds,
50 Which flaming Phlegethon surrounds,
Love, strong as Death, the Poet led
To the pale nations of the dead,
55 O’er all the dreary coasts !
69 The Furies sink upon their iron beds, And snakes uncurl'd hang listening round their heads.
By the streams that ever flow,
O'er the Elysian flowers ;
Or amaranthine bowers;
Restore, restore Eurydice to life:
He sung, and hell consented
To hear the Poet's prayer:
him back the fair.
O’er death and o'er hell,
Though fate had fast bound her
With Styx nine times round her, Yet Music and Love were victorious.
But soon, too soon, the lover turns his eyes:
Now under hanging mountains,
And calls her ghost,
105 Now with Furies surrounded, Despairing, confounded, He trembles, he glows,
Amidst Rhodope's snows: See, wild as the winds, o'er the desert he flies; 110 Hark! Hæmus resounds with the Bacchanals' cries.
Ah, see! he dies.
Yet ev'n in death Eurydice he sung, Eurydice still trembled on his tongue; Eurydice the woods,
115 Eurydice the floods, Eurydice the rocks and hollow mountains rung.
Music the fiercest grief can charm,
And antedate the bliss above. This the divine Cecilia found, And to her Maker's praise confined the sound. 125 When the full organ joins the tuneful quire,
The immortal powers incline their ear; Borne on the swelling notes our souls aspire, While solemn airs improve the sacred fire; And angels lean from heaven to hear.
130 Of Orpheus now no more let Poets tell,
To bright Cecilia greater power is given;
O HAPPINESS! our being's end and aim!
Plant of celestial seed! if dropt below,
15 'T is nowhere to be found, or everywhere; 'T is never to be bought, but always free, And fled from monarchs, St. John! dwells with thee.
Ask of the learn'd the way: the learn'd are blind; This bids to serve, and that to shun mankind; 20 Some place the bliss in action, some in ease, Those call it pleasure, and contentment these; Some sunk to beasts, find pleasure end in pain; Some swell’d to gods, confess ev'n virtue vain; Or indolent, to each extreme they fall,
25 To trust in everything, or doubt of all.
Who thus define it, say they more or less Than this, that happiness is happiness?
Take Nature's path, and mad Opinion's leave; All states can reach it, and all heads conceive; 30 Obvious her goods, in no extreme they dwell; There needs but thinking right, and meaning well; And mourn our various portions as we please, Equal is common sense and common ease.
Remember, man, “ the Universal Cause 35 Acts not by partial, but by general laws;" And makes what Happiness we justly call, Subsist not in the good of one, but all.