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ODE XXXVI.

TO

THE MUSE.

BY JAMES SCOTT, D.D.

Yer once more, sweetest Queen of Song,
Thy humble suppliant lead along,
Through Fancy's flow'ry plains :
Oh bear me to th' ideal grove,
Where hand in hand the Grace's rove,
And sooth me with seraphic strains !
'Tis thine, harmonious maid, to cull
Delicious balm to heal our cares;
'Tis thine to take the prison'd soul,

And lap it in Elysian airs ;
While quick as thought at thy divine command
The realms of grace and harmony expand.

And lo before my ravisht eyes
The visionary scenes arise !
I hear the tender lute complain,
While Sappho breathes her am'rous pain;
(O guard me from such fierce desires,
Thou God of Raptures, God of Fires I)

I hear Anacreon's honey'd tongue

To love and wine repeat the song; His flight sublime the Theban swan prepares, And louder music wakes the wond'ring spheres.

But hark how sweet the numbers swell, While Homer waves his soul enchanting wand I

Entranc'd the list’ning Passions stand,
Charm'd with the magic of his shell.
Whether to arms his trump resounds,
The heart with martial ardour bounds;
Or sprightly themes his hand employ,

Instant we catch the spreading joy ;
Or when in notes majestic, deep, and slow,
He bids the solemn streams of sorrow flow,
Amaz'd we hear the sadly-pleasing strain,
While tender anguish steals through every vein.

Father of verse, whose eagle flight
Fatigues the gazer's aching sight,

And strains th' aspiring mind ;
Teach me thy wond'rous heights to view,
With trembling wing thy steps pursue,

And leave the less'ning world behind.
Fond, foolish wish!-Can human eyes
The rapid arrow's track descry?
Can gross Mortality arise,

And spring beyond the vaulted sky?
Lost is the momentary path, and bound
By cumb’rous chains we creep along the ground !

Yet some there are with power endow'd
To soar above the groveling croud;
By thee, fair Fancy, rapt'rous maid,
By thee, O sweet Enthusiast, led,
Sublime beyond the milky way
With strong seraphic plumes they stray;
Or pierce within the sacred shade,

Where Nature's plastic forms are laid ;
Then strike with daring, hands the magic strings,
And warm to life a new creation springs.

Hail chosen few, whose happier birth
The Muse beheld, and bade your due feet climb

Fame's slipp'ry hill, and paths sublime,
Untrod by vulgar

of earth!
When virtue droops all sick and pale,
In bleak misfortune's desart vale,
'Tis yours to steal away her care,

And softly sooth the pensive fair :
'Tis yours to cull, from Fancy's fairy stores,
The brightest gems, and sweetest-breathing flowers,
Then bind with Daedal art such wreaths divine,
As bloom secure on Truth's immortal shrine.

Haste then !--for soft Etesian gales
Supply the Pilot's welcome sails,

And waft him o'er the main ;
And gentle show'rs, the daughters fair
Of pregnant clouds and balmy air,

Rejoice the faint and thirsty plain :

Oh haste, your sweetest numbers shed,
Fraught with the genial dew of praise,
On Glory's fav’rite sons, who tread

Unweary'd danger's thorny maze:
Who tear fresh laurel's from War's ghastly brow,
Or steer the stedfast bark, though tides of faction

flow.

But, o ye delegates of Jove,
Sent from the starry realms above
To guard the clime, with dragon-eyes
Where all the Muses' treasures rise,
Should Gothic ignorance invade
With lawless foot the virgin shade,
And too incontinent presume

Rashly to pluck the gold bloom;
Wide wave the flaming sword, and send, O send
Your brightest shafts to quell the Stygian fiend !

With holy dread, ye guardians of her store,
Fulfil your charge, nor too profuse of praise
Embalm, with her immortal lays,
The carrion-corpse of pride, or power!
Let Dulness her vain favours shed
On smiling Folly's kindred head;
Or Vice, in tinsel trappings drest,
Promote the wretch who flatters best;

Disdain the crew And in some distant grove,
To worth afflicted, friendless, raise your voice :
So shall the Muse your honest songs approve,
And deathless Fame reward your uncorrupted choice!

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