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PINDAR. Isthm. Ode 2.




'TIS May's meridian reign; yet EURUS cold
Forbids each shrinking thorn its leaves unfold,
Or hang with silver buds her rural throne;
No primrose shower from her green lap she throws *,
No daisy, violet, or cowslip blows,
And FLORA weeps her fragrant offspring gone.
Hoar frost arrests the genial dew;
To wake, to warble, and to woo
No Linnet calls his drooping love:
Shall then the Poet strike the lyre,
When mute are all the feather'd quire,
And Nature fails to warm the Syrens of the grove?
He shall: for what the sullen Spring denies
The orient beam of virtuous youth supplies;
That moral dawn be his inspiring flame.
Beyond the dancing radiance of the East
Thy glory, Son of CHATHAM! fires his breast,
And, proud to celebrate thy vernal fame,
Hark, from his lyre the strain ascends,
Which but to Freedom's fav'rite friends
That lyre disdains to sound.
Hark and approve, as did thy Sire *
The Lays which once with kindred fire
His Muse in Attic mood made MONA's oaks rebound.
Long silent since, save when, in KEPPEL's name,
Detraction, murd'ring Britain's naval fame,
Rous'd into sounds of scorn th' indignant string *.
But now, replenish'd with a richer theme,
The vase of Harmony shall pour its stream,
Fan'd by free Fancy's rainbow-tinctur'd wing.
Thy Country too shall hail the song,
Her ecchoing heart the notes prolong;
While they alone with envy sigh,
Whose rancour to thy parent dead
Aim'd, ere his funeral rites were paid,
With vain vindictive rage to starve his progeny.
From Earth and These the Muse averts her view,
To meet in yonder sea of Ether blue
A beam to which the blaze of noon is pale;
In purpling circles now the glory spreads,
A host of angels now unveil their heads,
While Heav'n's own music triumphs on the gale.
Ah see, two white-rob'd Seraphs lead
Thy Father's venerable shade;
He bends from yonder cloud of gold,
While they, the ministers of light,
Bear from his breast a mantle bright,
And with the Heav'n-wove robe thy youthful limbs enfold.
"Receive this mystic gift, my Son!" he cries,
"And, for so wills the Sov'reign of the skies,
"With this receive, at ALBION's anxious hour,
"A double portion of my patriot zeal,
"Active to spread the fire it dar'd to feel
"Thro' raptur'd Senates, and with awful power
"From the full fountain of the tongue
"To roll the rapid tide along
"Till a whole nation caught the flame.
"So on thy Sire shall Heav'n bestow
"A blessing TULLY fail'd to know,
"And redolent in thee diffuse thy Father's fame.
"Nor thou, ingenuous Boy! that Fame despise
"Which lives and spreads abroad in Heav'n's pure eyes,
"The last best energy of noble mind *;
"Revere thy Father's shade; like him disdain
"The tame, the timid, temporizing train,
"Awake to self, to social interest blind:
"Young as thou art, Occasion calls,
"Thy Country's scale or mounts or falls
"As thou and thy compatriots strive;
"Scarce is the fatal moment past
"That trembling ALBION deem'd her last,
"O knit the union firm, and bid an Empire live.
"Proceed, and vindicate fair Freedom's claim,
"Give life, give strength, give substance to her name;
"The native rights of Man with Fraud contest;
"Yes, snatch them from Corruption's baleful power,
"Who dares, in Day's broad eye, those rights devour,
"While Prelates bow, and bless the Harpy feast.
"If foil'd at first, resume thy course,
"Rise strengthen'd with Antaean force,
"So shall thy toil in conquest end.
"Let others court the tinsel things
"That hang upon the smile of Kings,
"Be thine the Muse's wreath; be thou THE PEOPLE's FRIEND."

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