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ON Cam's fair banks, where Learning's hallow'd

fane Majestic rises on the astonish'd sight, Where oft the Muse has led the favourite swain,

And warm'd his soul with Heaven's inspiring light. Beneath the covert of the sylvan shade,

Where deadly cypress, mix'd with mournful yew, ! Far o'er the vale a gloomy stillness spread,

Celestial Genius burst upon the view. The bloom of youth, the majesty of years,

The soften'd aspect, innocent and kind, The sigh of sorrow, and the streaming tears,

Resistless all, their various pow'r combin'd. In her fair hand a silver harp she bore,

Whose magic notes, soft-warbling from the string,

Give tranquil joy the breast ne'er knew before,
· Or raise the soul on rapture's airy wing.
By grief impell’d, I heard her heave a sigh,
While thus the rapid strain resounded thro’the sky:

Haste, ye sister powers of song,

Hasten from the shady grove,
Where the river rolls along,

Sweetly to the voice of love.
Where, indulging mirthful pleasures,

Light you press the flow'ry green,
And from Flora's blooming treasures

Cull the wreaths for Fancy's queen.
Where your gently-flowing numbers,

Floating on the fragrant breeze,
Sink the soul in pleasing slumbers

On the downy bed of ease,
For graver strains prepare the plaintive lyre,

That wakes the softest feelings of the soul;
Let lonely Grief the melting verse inspire,
Let deep’ning Sorrow's solemn accents roll.
Rack'd by the hand of rude Disease

Behold our fav’rite Poet lies !
While every object form’d to please

Far from his couch ungrateful flies.

The blissful Muse, whose favouring smile

So lately warm’d his peaceful breast,
Diffusing heavenly joys the while,

In Transport's radiant garments drest,
With darksome grandeur and enfeebl'd blaze,
Sinks in the shades of night, and shuns his eager

The gaudy train, who wait on Spring[69],

Ting’d with the pomp of vernal pride, ·
The youths who mount on Pleasure's wing, [70],

And idly sport on Thames's side,
With cool regard their various arts employ,
Nor rouse the drooping mind, nor give the pause of


Ha! what forms, with port sublime[71],

Glide along in sullen mood,
Scorning all the threats of time,

High above Misfortune's flood?
They seize their harps, they strike the lyre,
With rapid hand, with freedom's fire.

[69] Ode on Spring
[70] Ode on the Prospect of Eton College.
[71] The Bard, an Ode.

Obedient Nature hears the lofty sound,
And Snowdon's airy cliffs the heavenly strains re-

In pomp of state, behold they wait,

With arms outstretch'd, and aspects kind,
To snatch on high to yonder sky,

The child of Fancy left behind: .
Forgot the woes of Cambria's fatal day,
By rapture's blaze impell’d they swell the artless lay.

But ah ! in vain they strive to sooth,

With gentle arts, the tort'ring hours ;
Adversity[72], with rankling tooth,

Her baleful gifts profusely pours. :
Behold she comes, the fiend forlorn,

Array'd in Horror's settled gloom;
She strews the briar and prickly thorn,

And triumphs in th’infernal doom.
With frantic fury and insatiate rage,
She gnaws the throbbing breast and blasts the glowing

No more the soft Æolian flute[73]

Breathes thro’ the heart the melting strain ;

[72]Hymn to Adversity.
[73] The Progress of Poesy.

The powers of Harmony are mute,

And leave the once-delightful plain ;
With heavy wing, I see them beat the air,
Damp'd by the leaden hand of comfortless Despair.

Yet stay, O! stay, celestial pow'rs,

And with a hand of kind regard
Dispel the boist'rous storm that lours

Destructive on the fav’rite bard;
() watch with me his last expiring breath,
And snatch him from the arms of dark, oblivious

Hark the fatal Sisters[74] join,

And with Horror's mutt'ring sounds,
Weave the tissue of his line,
While the dreadful spell resounds.
“ Hail, ye midnight sisters, hail,

“ Drive the shuttle swift along;
« Let your secret charms prevail

« O’er the valiant and the strong,
6 O’er the glory of the land,

« O’er the innocent and gay,
« O’er the Muse's tuneful band

“ Weave the fun’ral web of Gray.”

[74]The Fatal Sisters, an Ode.

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