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illum omnes et Virtutes et Veneres odore. With respect to my own share of the volume, I have omitted a third of the former edition, and added almost an equal number. The poems thus added are marked in the Contents by Italics.
S. T. C. Stowey, May, 1797.
Το μέλλον ήξει. Και συ μ' εν τάχει παρών
Æschy, Agamem. 1225.
THE Ode commences with an address to the Divine Providence, that regulates into one vast harmony all the events of time however calamitous some of them may appear to mortals. The second Strophe calls on men to suspend their private joys and sorrows, and devote them, for a while, to the cause of human nature in general. The first epode speaks of the Empress of Russia, who died of an apoplexy on the 17th of November, 1796, having just concluded a subsidiary treaty with the Kings combined against France. The first and second Antistrophe describe the image of the departing year, &c., as in a vision. The second epode prophesies in anguish of spirit, the downfall of this country.
SPIRIT! who sweepest the wild harp of Time,
It is most hard with an untroubled ear
Thy dark inwoven harmonies to hear !
With inward stillness, and a bowed mind:
• This Ode was written on the 24th, 25th, and 26th days of December, 1795; and published separately on the last day of the year.
When lo! far onwards waving on the wind I saw the skirts of the DepaRTING YEAR !
Starting from my silent sadness
Then with no unholy madness, Ere yet the enter'd cloud forbade my sight, I rais'd th’impetuous song, and solemniz'd his flight.
Hither from the recent tomb,
Love illumines manhood's maze;
Hope has fixed her wishful gaze:
Whose indefatigable sweep
Forbids its fateful strings to sleep,
And each domestic hearth,
Weep and rejoice!
And now advance in saintly jubilee
They, too, obey thy name, divinest Liberty !
I heard the mailed Monarch's troublous cry-
Stunn'd by Death's “ twice mortal” mace,
No more on murder's lurid face The insatiate hag shall gloat with drunken eye! Manes of the unnumber'd slain !
Ye that gasp'd on Warsaw's plain ! Ye that erst at Ismail's tower,
When human ruin chok'd the streams,
Mid women's shrieks and infant's screams!
Sudden blasts of triumph swelling,
Rush around her narrow dwelling! Th’exterminating fiend is fled
(Foul her life, and dark her doom) Mighty army of the dead
Dance, like death-fires, round her tomb!
Departing Year! 'twas on no earthly shore
My soul beheld thy vision! Where alone,
Voiceless and stern, before the cloudy throne, Aye Memory sits; there, garmented with gore, With many an unimaginable groan