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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:
No legs at first the insect's weight sustain,
Now bending thighs and gilded wings it wears
The frighted Indians with his thunder aw'd,
FOR ST. CECILIA'S DAY, AT OXFORD.
[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 ;
And, as thou sing'st thy God, teach us to sing of thee:
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,
Cecilia's name does all our numbers grace,
And now it sinks, and dwells upon the bass.
Cecilia's name through all the notes we sing,
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.
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 moving woods attended as he play'd,
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:
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
Let no rough winds approach, nor dare
Nor rudely shake the tuneful air,
Nor spoil the fleeting sounds.
But gladness dwell on every tongue;
Keep up the loud harmonious song.
And imitate the blest above,
In joy, and harmony, and love.