ODE occasion'd by Reading Mr. WEST'S Translation of PINDAR.
1 ALBION exult! thy sons a voice divine have heard,
2 The man of Thebes hath in thy vales appear'd!
3 Hark! with fresh rage and undiminish'd fire,
4 The sweet enthusiast smites the British lyre;
5 The sounds that echoed on Alphéus' streams,
6 Reach the delighted ear of listening Thames;
7 Lo! swift across the dusty plain
8 Great Theron's foaming coursers strain!
9 What mortal tongue e'er roll'd along
10 Such full impetuous tides of nervous song?
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11 The fearful, frigid lays of cold and creeping Art,
12 Nor touch, nor can transport th' unfeeling heart;
13 Pindar, our inmost bosom piercing, warms
14 With glory's love, and eager thirst of arms:
15 When Freedom speaks in his majestic strain,
16 The patriot-passions beat in every vein:
17 We long to sit with heroes old,
18 'Mid groves of vegetable gold,
a See 2. Olym. Od. Where Cadmus and Achilles dwell,
20 And still of daring deeds and dangers tell.
21 Away, enervate bards, away,
22 Who spin the courtly, silken lay,
b Alluding to the French and Italian lyric poets. As wreaths for some vain Louis' head,
24 Or mourn some soft Adonis dead:
25 No more your polish'd lyrics boast,
26 In British Pindar's strength o'erwhelm'd and lost:
27 As well might ye compare
28 The glimmerings of a waxen flame,
29 (Emblem of verse correctly tame)
c See 1. Pyth. Od. To his own Aetna's sulphur-spouting caves,
31 When to heav'n's vault the fiery deluge raves,
32 When clouds and burning rocks dart thro' the troubled air.
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33 In roaring cataracts down Andes' channel'd steeps
34 Mark how enormous Orellana sweeps!
35 Monarch of mighty floods! supremely strong,
36 Foaming from cliff to cliff he whirls along,
37 Swoln with an hundred hills' collected snows:
38 Thence over nameless regions widely flows,
39 Round fragrant isles, and citron-groves,
40 Where still the naked Indian roves,
41 And safely builds his leafy bow'r,
42 From slavery far, and curst Iberian pow'r;
43 So rapid Pindar flows. — O parent of the lyre,
44 Let me for ever thy sweet sons admire!
45 O ancient Greece, but chief the bard whose lays
46 The matchless tale of Troy divine emblaze;
47 And next Euripides, soft Pity's priest,
48 Whose melts in useful woes the bleeding breast;
49 And him, who paints th' incestuous king,
50 Who soul amaze and horror wring;
51 Teach me to taste their charms refin'd,
52 The richest banquet of th' enraptur'd mind:
53 For the blest man, the muse's childd
d Hor. Od. 3. L. 4. ,
54 On whose auspicious birth she smil'd,
55 Whose soul she form'd of purer fire,
56 For whom she tun'd a golden lyre,
57 Seeks not in fighting fields renown:
58 No widows' midnight skrieks, nor burning town,
59 The peaceful poet please;
60 Nor ceaseless toils for sordid gains,
61 Nor purple pomp, nor wide domains,
62 Nor heaps of wealth, nor power, nor statesman's schemes,
63 Nor all deceiv'd Ambition's feverish dreams,
64 Lure his contented heart from the sweet vale of ease.