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By the same arm my seven brave brothers fell;" In one sad day beheld the gates of hell: While the fat herds and snowy flocks they fed, Amid their fields the hapless heroes bled! My mother liv'd to bear the victor's bands, The queen of Hippoplacia's silvan lands: Redeem'd too late, she scarce beheld again Her pleasing empire and her native plain, When, ah! opprest by life-consuming woe, She fell a victim to Diana's bow.
Yet while my Hector still survives; I see
My father, mother, brethren, all, in thee;
Alas! my parents, brothers, kindred, all
Once more will perish, if my Hector fall.
Thy wife, thy infant, in thy danger share:
O prove a husband's and a father's care!
That quarter most the skilful Greeks annoy,
Where yon' wild fig-trees join the wall of Troy :
Thou, from this tower defend the' important post;
There Agamemnon points his dreadful host,
That pass Tydides, Ajax, strive to gain,
And there the vengeful Spartan fires his train.
Thrice our bold foes the fierce attack have given:
Or led by hopes, or dictated from Heaven,
Let others in the field their arms employ,
But stay my Hector here, and guard his Troy!
The chief reply'd: That post shall be my care,
Nor that alone, but all the works of war.
How would the sons of Troy, in arms renown'd, And Troy's proud dames, whose garments sweep the ground,
Attaint the lustre of my former name,
Should Hector basely quit the field of fame ?
My early youth was bred to martial pains,
My soul impels me to the' embattled plains:
Let me be foremost to defend the throne,
And guard my father's glories and my own.
Yet come it will, the day decreed by fates;
(How my heart trembles while my tongue relates!)
The day when thou, imperial Troy! must bend,
And see the warrior fall, thy glories end.
And yet no dire presage so wounds my mind,
My mother's death, the ruin of my kind,
Not Priam's hoary hairs defil'd with gore,
Not all my brothers gasping on the shore;
As thine, Andromache! thy griefs I dread;
I see thee trembling, weeping, captive led!
In Argive looms our battles to design,
And woes, of which so large a part was thine!
To bear the victor's hard commands, or bring
The weight of waters from Hyperia's spring.
There, while you groan beneath the load of life,
They cry, Behold the mighty Hector's wife!
Some haughty Greek, who lives thy tears to see,
Embitters all thy woes, by naming me.
The thoughts of glory past, and present shame,
A thousand griefs shall waken at the name!
May I lie cold before that dreadful day,
Press'd with a load of monumental clay!
Thy Hector, wrapt in everlasting sleep,
Shall neither hear thee sigh, nor see thee weep!
ODE ON ST. CECILIA's DAY.
[Written in the Year 1708.]
AND OTHER PIECES FOR MUSIC.
ESCEND, ye Nine! descend and sing;
The breathing instruments inspire,
Wake into voice each silent string,
And sweep the sounding lyre!
In a sadly-pleasing strain
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 enlivening airs.
Warriors she fires with animated sounds;
Pours balm into the bleeding lover's wounds:
Melancholy lifts her head,
Morpheus rouses from his bed,
Sloth unfolds her arms and wakes,
Listening 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 arms,
How martial music every bosom warms!
So when the first bold vessel dar'd the seas,
High on the stern the Thracian rais'd his strain,
While Argo saw her kindred trees
Descend from Pelion to the main:
Transported demigods stood round,
And men grew heroes at the sound,
Inflam'd with glory's charms:
Each chief his sevenfold 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 through all the' 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 spectres dance;
The furies sink upon their iron beds,
And snakes uncurl'd hang listening round their heads.
By the streams that ever flow,
By the fragrant winds that blow
O'er the' Elysian flowers;
By those happy souls who dwell
In yellow meads of asphodel,
Or amaranthine bowers;
By the heroes' armed shades,
Glittering through the gloomy glades;
By the youths that died for love,
Wandering 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 pray'r:
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!
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;
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 desert he flies;
Hark! Hæmus resounds with the Bacchanals' cries
Yet ev'n in death Eurydice he sung,
Eurydice still trembled on his tongue;
Eurydice the woods,
Eurydice the floods,
Eurydice the rocks and hollow mountains rung.