Зображення сторінки



[This highly-finished Ode describes the power and in

fluence as well as the progress of Poetry.]

* I. 1.

AWAKE, Æolian lyre, awake, h
And give to rapture all thy trembling strings.
Frøm Helicon's harmonious springs

A thousand rills their mazy progress take:


h Awake, æolian lyre, awake.
Awake, my glory: awake, lute and harp.

David's Psalms.

Pindar styles his own poetry, with its musical accompaniments, Æolian song, Æolian strings, the breath of the Æolian flute.

The subject and simile, as usual with Pindar, are here united. The various sources of poetry, which give life and lustre to all it touches, are here described; as well in its quiet majestic progress enriching every subject (otherwise dry and barren) with all the pomp of diction, and luxuriant harmony of numbers;

The laughing flowers, that round them blow, Drink life and fragrance as they flow. Now the rich stream of Music winds along, Deep, majestic, smooth, and strong, Thro' verdant vales, and Ceres' golden reign: Now rolling down the steep amain, Headlong, impetuous, see it pour: The rocks and nodding groves re-bellow to the roar.

. 1. 2.
Oh! Sovereign of the willing soul, i
Parent of sweet and solemn-breathing airs,
Enchanting shell! the sullen Cares

And frantic Passions hear thy soft controul.
On Thracia's hills the Lord of War
Has curb’d the fury of his car,

as in its more rapid and irresistible course, when swoln and hurried away by the conflict of tumultuous passions.

i Oh! Sovereign of the willing soul.

Power of harmony to calm the turbulent passions of the soul. The thoughts are borrowed from the first Pythian of Pindar.

And drop'd his thirsty lance at thy command.
Perching on the sceptred hand k
Of Jove, thy magic lulls the feather'd king
With ruffled plumes and flagging wing:
Quench'd in dark clouds of slumber lie
The terror of his beak, and lightnings of his eye.

I. 3.

Thee the voice, the dance, obey l,
Temper'd to thy warbled lay.
O'er Idalia's velvet-green
The rosy-crowned Loves are seen
On Cytherea's day
With antic Sport, and blue-ey'd Pleasures,
Frisking light in frolic measures;
Now pursuing, now retreating,

Now in circling troops they meet: .
To brisk notes in cadence beating,
| Glance their many-twinkling feet.

k Perching on the sceptred hand. | This is a weak imitation of some beautiful lines in the same ode.

1 Thee the voice, the dance, obey. Power of harmony to produce all the graces of motion in the body.

Slow melting strains their Queen's approach de

clare [5] :
Where'er she turns the Graces homage pay [6]
With arms sublime, that float upon the air,

In gliding state she wins her easy way:
O’er her warm cheek, and rising bosom, move,
The bloom of young Desire and purple light of


[ocr errors]

n [5] Slow melting strains their Queen's afiproach

declare. This, and the five flowing lines which follow, are (as Mr. Mason observes) sweetly introduced by short and and unequal measures that precede them : the whole stanza is indeed a master-piece of rhythm, and charms the ear by its well-varied.cadence, as much as the imagery which it contains ravishes the fancy. “There is" (says Mr. Gray, in one of his manuscript papers) “ a is tout ensemble of sound, as well as of sense, in poetic16 al composition always necessary to its perfection. " What is gone before still dwells upon the ear, and in66 sensibly harmonizes with the present line, as in that 6 succession of fleeting notes which is called Melody." Nothing can better exemplify the truth of this fine observation than his own poetry.

[6] This line seems to have been imitated from Dryden's Fable of the Flower and the Leaf:

6 For wheresoe'er she turn’d her face they bow'd.”

II. 1.
Man's feeble race what ills await o!
Labour, and Penury, the racks of Pain,
Disease, and Sorrow's weeping train,

And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate !
The fond complaint, my song, disprove,
And justify the laws of Jove.
Say, has he giv’n in vain the heav'nly Muse?
Night and all her sickly dews,
Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry,
He gives to range the dreary sky :
Till down the eastern cliffs afar p
Hyperion's march they spy, and glitt'ring shafts of


o Man's feeble race what ills await! To compensate the real or imaginary ills of life, the Muse was given us by the same Providence that sends the day, by its cheerful presence, to dispel the gloom and terrors of the night. :

p Till down the eastern cliffs afar.

Or seen the Morning's well-appointed star
Come marching up the eastern hills afar.


« НазадПродовжити »