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Escend, ye Nine! descend and sing;
The breathing instruments inspire,
Wake into voice each filent string,
And sweep the sounding lyre !
In a fadly-pleasing strain
5 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 flow,
The deep, majestic, folemn 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; 15
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 foft, afluafive 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 rouzes from his bed,
Sloth unfolds her arms and wakes,
Lift'ning 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 ev'ry bofom warms!
So when the first bold veffel dar'd the feas,
High on the stern the Thracian rais'd his 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 his fev’nfold fhield 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 Aaming Phlegeton 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 ftill,
Ixion rests upon his wheel,
And the pale spectres dance!
The Furies sink upon their iron beds,
And snakes uncuri'd hang lift'ning round the:
By the streams that ever flow,
By the fragrant winds that blow
O'er th’Elysian flow'rs;
By those happy souls who dwell
In yellow meads of Afphodel,
Or Amaranthine bow'rs;
By the hero's armed shades,
Glittring thro' the gloomy glades;
By the youths that dy'd for love,
Wand'ring in the myrtle grove,
Restore, restore Eurydice to life:
Oh take the husband, or return the wife!
He sung, and hell consented
To hear the Poet's prayer :
Stern Proserpine relented,
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.