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That patient merit of th’ unworthy' takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To groan and sweat under a weary life ;
But that the dread of something after death
(That undiscover'd country, from whose bourne
No traveller returns) puzzles the will;
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of?
• Thus conscience does make cowards' of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;
And enterprises of great pith and inoment,
With this regard their currants turn awry,'
And lose the name of action.
OH! my offence is rank, it smells to hear'n,
It hath the primal, eldest curse upon't ;
A brother's murder-Pray I cannot:
Though inclination be as sharp as 'twill,
My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent;
And like a man to double buisness bound,
I stand in pause where I shall first begin,
And both neglect. What if this cursed band
Were thicker than itself with brother's blood ?
Is there not rain enouglı in the sweet heav'ns
To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercy,
But to confront the visage of offence?
And what's in prayer, but this two-fald force,
'To be forestalled ere we come to fall,
Or pardon'd being down? Then I'll: look up;
My fault is past. But oh, what form of prayer
Can serve my turn? Forgive me my foul murder lo
That cannot be, since I am still possess'd
Of those effects for which I did the murder.
My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen.
May one be pardon'd; and retain th' offence ?
In the corrupted currents of this world,
Offence's gilded had may shove by justice;
And oft 'tis seen, the wicked prize itself.
Buys out the laws. But 'tis not so above.
There is no shuffling; there the action lies
In its true nature, and we ourselves compelld,
Ev'n to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
To give in evidence.. What then? what rests?
Try what repentance can : what can it not?
Yet what can it, when one cannot repent ?
Oh wretched state ! oh bosom black as death!
Oh limed soul, that, struggling to be free,
Art more engag'd! Help, angels ! make assay!
Bow, stubborn knees; and, heart, with strings of steel,
Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe!
All may be well.
DESCEND, ye Nine! descend and sing:
The breathing instuments inspire,
Wake into voice tach silent string,
And sweep the sounding lyre !
In a sadly-pleasing stráin
Let the warbling lute complain :
Let the loud trumpet sound,
Till the roofs all around
The shrill echoes rebound:
While in more lengthen'd notes and slow
The deep, majestic, solemn organs blow.
Hark! the numbers soft and clear,
Gently steal upon the ear;
Now louder and yet louder rise,
And fill with spreading sounds the skies ; Exulting in triumph now swell the bold notes, In broken air trembling, the wild music floats ;
Till, by degrees remote and small,
The strains decay,
And melt away
In a dying, dying fall.
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 enlivering airs.
Warriors she fires with animated sounds :
Pours balm into the bleeding lover's wounds:
Melane holy lifts her head,
Morpheus rouses from his bed,
Sloth unfolds her arms and wakes,
Listning Envy drops her snakes ;
Intestine war no more our Passions wage,
And giddy Factions hear away their rage.
But when our country's cause provokes to arras,
How martial music every bosom warms !
So when the first bold vessel dar'd the seas,
High on the stern the Thracian rais'd bis strain,
While Argo saw her kindred trees
Descend from Pelion to the main.
Transported demi-gods stood 'round,
And men grew heroes at the sound,
Enflam'd with glory's charms :
Each chief bis sev’nfold shield display'd,
And half unsheath'd the shining blade :
And seas, and rocks, and skies rebound
To arms! to arms ! to arms !
But when thro’ all th' infernal bounds,
Which flaming Phlegethon surrounds,
Love, strong as Death, the Poet led
To the pale nations of the dead,
What sounds were heard,
What scenes appear'd,
O'er all the dreary coasts?
Fires that glow,
Shrieks of woe,
And cries of tortur'd ghosts;
But hark! he strikes the golden lyre ;
And see! the tortur'd ghosts respire,
See, shady forms advance !
Thy stone, O Sisyphus, stands still,
Ixion rests upon his wheel,
And the pale spectros dance!
The furies sink upon their iron beds,
And snakes uncurld hang list’ning round their heads.
By the streams that ever flow,
By the flagrant winds that blow
O'er th’ Elysian flow'rs;
By those happy soul who dwell
In yellow meads of Asphodel,
Or Amaranthine bow'rs;
By the hero's armed shades,
Glittring thro’ the gloomy glades;
By the youths that dy'd for love,-
Wond'ring in the myrtle grove,
Restore, restore Eurydice to life;
Ob take the Husband, or return the Wife!
He sung, and hell consented
To hear the Poet's prayer:
Stern Proserpine relented,
And gave him back the fair:
Thus song could prevail
O'er death and o'er hell,
A conquest how hard, and how glorious !
Tho' 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:
Again she falls, again she dies, she dies !
How wilt thou now the fatal sisters move ?
No crime was thine; if tis no crime to love.
Now under hanging mountains,
Beside the falls of fountains,
Or where Hebrus wanders,
Rolling in meanders
He makes his moan ;
And calls her ghost,
For ever, ever, ever lost;
Now with furies surrounded,
He trembles, he glows,
Amidst Rhodope's snows:
See, wild as the winds o'er the dèsart he flies;
Hark! Hæmus resounds with the Bacchanals cries
Ah see, he dies!