〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉—PINDAR, Olymp. II.
1 AWAKE, Aeolian lyre, awake,
2 And give to rapture all thy trembling strings.
3 From Helicon's harmonious springs
4 A thousand rills their mazy progress take:
5 The laughing flowers, that round them blow,
6 Drink life and fragance as they flow.
7 Now the rich stream of music winds along
8 Deep, majestic, smooth and strong,
9 Thro' verdant vales, and Ceres' golden reign:
10 Now rolling down the steep amain,
11 Headlong, impetuous, see it pour:
12 The rocks, and nodding groves rebellow to the roar.
13 Oh! Sovereign of the willing soul,
14 Parent of sweet and solemn-breathing airs,
15 Enchanting shell! the sullen Cares,
16 And frantic Passions hear thy soft controul.
17 On Thracia's hills the Lord of War
18 Has curb'd the fury of his car,[Page 322]
19 And drop'd his thirsty lance at thy command.
20 Perching on the scept'red hand
21 Of Jove, thy magic lulls the feather'd king
22 With ruffled plumes, and flagging wing:
23 Quench'd in dark clouds of slumber lie
24 The terror of his beak, and light'nings of his eye.
25 Thee the voice, the dance, obey,
26 Temper'd to thy warbled lay.
27 O'er Idalia's velvet-green
28 The rosy-crowned Loves are seen
29 On Cytherea's day,
30 With antic Sports, and blue-eyed Pleasures,
31 Frisking light in frolic measures;
32 Now pursuing, now retreating,
33 Now in circling troops they meet:
34 To brisk notes in cadence beating
35 Glance their many-twinkling feet.
36 Slow melting strains their Queen's approach declare:
37 Where'er she turns the Graces homage pay.
38 With arms sublime, that float upon the air,
39 In gliding state she wins her easy way:
40 O'er her warm cheek, and rising bosom, move
41 The bloom of young Desire, and purple light of Love.
42 Man's feeble race what Ills await,
43 Labour, and Penury, the racks of Pain,
44 Disease, and Sorrow's weeping train,
45 And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate![Page 323]
46 The fond complaint, my Song, disprove,
47 And justify the laws of Jove.
48 Say, has he giv'n in vain the heav'nly Muse?
49 Night, and all her sickly dews,
50 Her Spectres wan, and Birds of boding cry,
51 He gives to range the dreary sky:
52 Till down the eastern cliffs afar
53 Hyperion's march they spy, and glitt'ring shafts of war.
54 In climes beyond the solar road,
55 Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam,
56 The Muse has broke the twilight-gloom
57 To chear the shiv'ring Native's dull abode.
58 And oft, beneath the od'rous shade
59 Of Chili's boundless forests laid,
60 She deigns to hear the savage Youth repeat,
61 In loose numbers wildly sweet,
62 Their feather-cinctured Chiefs, and dusky Loves.
63 Her track, where'er the Goddess roves,
64 Glory pursue, and generous Shame,
65 Th' unconquerable Mind, and Freedom's holy flame.
66 Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep,
67 Isles, that crown th' Egaean deep,
68 Fields, that cool Ilissus laves,
69 Or where Maeander's amber waves
70 In lingering Lab'rinths creep,
71 How do your tuneful Echo's languish,
72 Mute, but to the voice of Anguish![Page 324]
73 Where each old poetic Mountain
74 Inspiration breath'd around;
75 Ev'ry shade and hallow'd Fountain
76 Murmur'd deep a solemn sound:
77 Till the sad Nine in Greece's evil hour
78 Left their Parnassus for the Latian plains.
79 Alike they scorn the pomp of tyrant-Power,
80 And coward Vice, that revels in her chains.
81 When Latium had her lofty spirit lost,
82 They sought, oh Albion! next, thy sea-encircled coast.
83 Far from the sun and summer-gale,
84 In thy green lap was Nature's Darling laid,
85 What time, where lucid Avon stray'd,
86 To Him the mighty Mother did unveil
87 Her aweful face: The dauntless Child
88 Stretch'd forth his little arms, and smil'd.
89 This pencil take (she said) whose colours clear
90 Richly paint the vernal year:
91 Thine too these golden keys, immortal Boy!
92 This can unlock the gates of Joy;
93 Of Horrour that, and thrilling Fears,
94 Or ope the sacred source of sympathetic Tears.
95 Nor second He, that rode sublime
96 Upon the seraph-wings of Extasy,
97 The secrets of th' Abyss to spy.
98 He pass'd the flaming bounds of Place and Time:[Page 325]
99 The living Throne, the saphire-blaze,
100 Where Angels tremble while they gaze,
101 He saw; but blasted with excess of light,
102 Closed his eyes in endless night.
103 Behold, where Dryden's less presumptuous car,
104 Wide o'er the fields of Glory bear
105 Two coursers of ethereal race,
106 With necks in thunder cloath'd, and long-resounding pace.
107 Hark, his hands the lyre explore!
108 Bright-eyed Fancy hovering o'er
109 Scatters from her pictur'd urn
110 Thoughts, that breathe, and words, that burn.
111 But ah! 'tis heard no more —
112 Oh! Lyre divine, what daring Spirit
113 Wakes thee now? tho' he inherit
114 Nor the pride, nor ample pinion,
115 That the Theban Eagle bear
116 Sailing with supreme dominion
117 Thro' the azure deep of air:
118 Yet oft before his infant eyes would run
119 Such forms, as glitter in the Muse's ray
120 With orient hues, unborrow'd of the Sun:
121 Yet shall he mount, and keep his distant way
122 Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate,
123 Beneath the Good how far — but far above the Great.
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About this text
Title (in Source Edition): ODE.
Author: Thomas Gray
Themes: poetry; literature; writing
References: DMI 24573
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Other versions of this work
Other works by Thomas Gray
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