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For where th' Egyptians yearly see their bounds Refresh'd with floods, and sail about their grounds, Where Persia borders, and the rolling Nile Drives swiftly down the swarthy Indians' soil, Till into seven it multiplies its stream, And fattens Egypt with a fruitful slime : In this last practice all their hope remains, And long experience justifies their pains.

First then a close contracted space of ground, With straiten'd walls and low-built roof they found : A narrow shelving light is next assign'd

To all the quarters, one to every wind;

Through these the glancing rays obliquely pierce:
Hither they lead a bull that's young and fierce,
When two years' growth of horn he proudly shows,
And shakes the comely terrors of his brows:
His nose and mouth, the avenues of breath,
They muzzle up, and beat his limbs to death.
With violence to life and stifling pain
He flings and spurns, and tries to snort in vain,
Loud heavy mows fall thick on every side,
'Till his bruis'd bowels burst within the hide.
When dead they leave him rotting on the ground,
With branches, thyme, and cassia strew'd around.
All this is done when first the western breeze
Becalms the year, and smooths the troubled seas;
Before the chatt'ring swallow builds her nest,
Or fields in spring's embroidery are drest.
Meanwhile the tainted juice ferments within,
And quickens as it works: and now are seen
A wond'rous swarm, that o'er the carcass crawls,
Of shapeless, rude, unfinish'd animals.

No legs at first the insect's weight sustain,
At length it moves its new-made limbs with pain;
Now strikes the air with quiv'ring wings, and tries
To lift its body up, and learns to rise;

Now bending thighs and gilded wings it wears
Full grown, and all the bee at length appears;
From every side the fruitful carcass pours
Its swarming brood, as thick as summer show'rs,
Or flights of arrows from the Parthian bows,
When twanging strings first shoot them on the foes.
Thus have I sung the nature of the bee;
While Cæsar, tow'ring to divinity;

The frighted Indians with his thunder aw'd,
And claim'd their homage, and commenc'd a god;
I flourish'd all the while in arts of peace,
Retir'd and shelter'd in inglorious ease:
Twho before the songs of shepherds made,
When gay and young my rural lays I play'd,
And set my Tityrus beneath his shade.



[Dr. Johnson informs us, that this ode has been imitated by Pope, and has something in it of Dryden's vigour.]


CECILIA, whose exalted hymns

With joy and wonder fill the blest,

In choirs of warbling seraphims

Known and distinguish'd from the rest,

Attend, harmonious saint, and see,

Thy vocal sons of harmony;

Attend, harmonious saint, and hear our pray'rs ;
Enliven all our earthly airs,

And, as thou sing'st thy God, teach us to sing of thee:
Tune every string and every tongue,

Be thou the muse and subject of our song.


Let all Cecilia's praise proclaim,

Employ the echo in her name.

Hark! how the flutes and trumpets raise,
At bright Cecilia's name, their lays;
The organ labours in her praise.

Cecilia's name does all our numbers grace,
From every voice the tuneful accents fly,
In soaring trebles now it rises high,

And now it sinks, and dwells upon the bass.

Cecilia's name through all the notes we sing,
The work of every skilful tongue,

The sound of every trembling string.

The sound and triumph of our song.


For ever consecrate the day,

To music and Cecilia;

Music, the greatest good that mortals know,

And all of heaven we have below.
Music can noble hints impart,

Engender fury, kindle love;

With unsuspected eloquence can move, And manage all the man with secret art.

When Orpheus strikes the trembling lyre, The streams stand still, the stones admire ; The list'ning savages advance,

The wolf and lamb around him trip,
The bears in awkward measures leap,
And tigers mingle in the dance.

The moving woods attended as he play'd,
And Rhodope was left without a shade.


Music religious heat inspires,

It wakes the soul, and lifts it high, And wings it with sublime desires, And fits it to bespeak the deity.

Th' Almighty listens to a tuneful tongue,

And seems well pleas'd and courted with a song.

Soft moving sounds and heav'nly airs

Give force to every word, and recommend our prayers.

When time itself shall be no more,

And all things in confusion hurl'd,

Music shall then exert its power,

And sound survive the ruins of the world:
Then saints and angels shall agree

In one eternal jubilee :

All heav'n shall echo with their hymns divine, And God himself with pleasure see

The whole creation in a chorus join.


Consecrate the place and day
To music and Cecilia.

Let no rough winds approach, nor dare
Invade the hallow'd bounds,

Nor rudely shake the tuneful air,

Nor spoil the fleeting sounds.
Nor mournful sigh nor groan be heard,

But gladness dwell on every tongue;
Whilst all, with voice and strings prepar'd,

Keep up the loud harmonious song.

And imitate the blest above,

In joy, and harmony, and love.

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