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Shame now and anger mixed a double stain
In the Musician's face; 'Yet once again
(Mistress) I come; now reach a strain, my lute,
Above her mock, or be for ever mute ;
Or tune a song of victory to me,
Or to thyself sing thine own obsequy ;'
So said, his hands sprightly as fire he flings,
And with a quavering coyness tastes the strings:
The sweet-lipp'd sisters, musically frighted,
Singing their fears, are fearfully delighted:
Trembling as when Apollo's golden hairs) - 7
Are fann'd and frizzled in the wanton airs
Of his own breath: which married to his lyre
Doth tune the spheres, and make Heaven's self look higher.
From this to that, from that to this he flies,
Feels Music's pulse in all her arteries;
Caught in a net which there Apollo spreads,
His fingers struggle with the vocal threads..
Following those little rills, he sinks into
A sea of Helicon; his hand does go
Those parts of sweetness which with nectar drop,
Softer than that which pants in Hebe's cup.
The humorous strings expound his learnéd touch
By various glosses; now they seem to grutch,
And murmur in a buzzing din, then gingle
In shrill-tongued accents, striving to be single;
Every smooth turn, every delicious stroke
Gives life to some new grace; thus doth h' invoke
THE DELIGHTS OF THE MUSES.
Sweetness by all her names; thus, bravely thus,
(Fraught with a fury so harmonious)
The Lute's light genius now does proudly rise,
Heaved on the surges of swollen rhapsodies,
Whose flourish (meteor-like) doth curl the air
With flash of high-born fancies; here and there
Dancing in lofty measures, and anon
Creeps on the soft touch of a tender tone;
Whose trembling murmurs melting in wild airs
Runs to and fro, complaining his sweet cares,
Because those precious mysteries that dwell
In Music's ravish'd soul he dares not tell,
But whisper to the world: thus do they vary
Each string his note, as if they meant to carry
Their Master's blest soul (snatch'd out at his ears
By a strong ecstasy) through all the spheres
Of Music's heaven; and seat it there on higher that melcaplien
In th' empyrean of pure harmony.
At length (after so long, so loud a strife
Of all the strings, still breathing the best life
Of blest variety, attending on
His fingers' fairest revolution,
In many a sweet rise, many as sweet a fall)
A full-mouth'd diapason swallows all.
This done, he lists what she would say to this,
And she (although her breath's late exercise
Had dealt too roughly with her tender throat),
Yet summons all her sweet powers for a note.
Alas! in vain! for while (sweet soul !) she tries
To measure all those wild diversities
Of chatt'ring strings, by the small size of one
Poor simple voice, raised in a natural tone;
nhShe fails, and failing grieves, and grieving dies.
She dies and leaves her life the Victor's prize,
Falling upon his lute: O, fit to have
That lived so sweetly) dead, so sweet a grave!
To the Morning :
SATISFACTION FOR SLEEP.
What succour can I hope the Muse will send
Whose drowsiness hath wrong'd the Muses' friend?
What hope, Aurora, to propitiate thee,
Unless the Muse sing my apology?
O in that morning of my shame! when I
Lay folded up in sleep's captivity,
How at the sight didst thou draw back thine eyes
Into thy modest veil! how didst thou rise
Twice dyed in thine own blushes, and didst run
To draw the curtains, and awake the sun!
Who, rousing his illustrious tresses, came,
And seeing the loath'd object, hid for shame
His head in thy fair bosom, and still hides
Me from his patronage; I pray, he chides;
And pointing to dull Morpheus, bids me take
My own Apollo, try if I can make
His Lethe be my Helicon and see
If Morpheus have a Muse to wait on me.
Hence 'tis, my humble fancy finds no wings,
No nimble rapture starts to Heaven, and brings
Enthusiastic flames, such as can give
Marrow to my plump genius, make it live
Drest in the glorious madness of a Muse,
Whose feet can walk the Milky-way, and choose
Her starry throne; whose holy heats can warm
The grave, and hold up an exalted arm
To lift me from my lazy urn, to climb
Upon the stooping shoulders of old Time,
And trace Eternity-But all is dead,
All these delicious hopes are buriéd
In the deep wrinkles of his angry brow,
Where Mercy cannot find them but O thou
Bright lady of the Morn! pity doth lie
So warm in thy soft breast, it cannot die.
Have mercy then, and when he next shall rise,
O meet the angry God, invade his eyes,
And stroke his radiant cheeks; one timely kiss
Will kill his anger, and revive my bliss.
So to the treasure of thy pearly dew
Thrice will I pay three tears, to show how true
My grief is; so my wakeful lay shall knock
At th' oriental gates, and duly mock
The early larks' shrill orizons, to be
An anthem at the Day's nativity.
And the same rosy-finger'd hand of thine,
That shuts Night's dying eyes, shall open mine.
But thou, faint God of Sleep, forget that I
Was ever known to be thy votary.
No more my pillow shall thine altar be,
Nor will I offer any more to thee
Myself a melting sacrifice; I'm born
Again a fresh child of the buxom Morn,
Heir of the sun's first beams; why threat'st thou so!
7-Why dost thou shake thy leaden sceptre? Go,
Bestow thy poppy upon wakeful Woe,
Sickness, and Sorrow, whose pale lids ne'er know
Thy downy finger; dwell upon their eyes,
Shut in their tears: shut out their miseries.
On a Foul Morning, being then to take a Journey.
Where art thou, Sol, while thus the blindfold Day
Staggers out of the East, loses her way,
Stumbling on Night? Rouse thee, illustrious youth,
And let no dull mists choke thy Light's fair growth.
Point here thy beams; O, glance on yonder flocks,
And make their fleeces golden as thy locks! 2
Unfold thy fair front, and there shall appear