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When Venus, vexed to see her child

Amid the forests thus run wild,

Would point him out some nobler game, —
Gods, and godlike men to tame.
She seized the boy's reluctant hand,
And led him to the virgin band,

Where the sister Muses round

Swell the deep majestic sound;

And in solemn strains unite,

Breathing chaste, severe delight;

Songs of chiefs and heroes old,

In unsubmitting virtue bold:

Of even valour's temperate heat,

And toils, to stubborn patience sweet;

Of nodding plumes and burnished arms,

And glory's bright terrific charms.

The potent sounds like lightning dart
Resistless through the glowing heart;

Of power to lift the fixed soul

High o'er Fortune's proud controul;
Kindling deep, prophetic musing;
Love of beauteous death infusing;
Scorn, and unconquerable hate
Of tyrant pride's unhallowed state.
The boy abashed, and half afraid,

Beheld each chaste immortal maid :

Pallas spread her Egis there ;
Mars stood by with threatening air;
And stern Diana's icy look

With sudden chill his bosom struck.

Daughters of Jove, receive the child,”
The queen of beauty said, and smiled ;-
Her rosy breath perfumed the air,
And scattered sweet contagion there;
Relenting Nature learned to languish,
And sickened with delightful anguish:

“ Receive him, artless yet and young;

Refine his air, and smooth his tongue :

Conduct him through your favourite bowers,
Enriched with fair perennial flowers,
To solemn shades and springs that lie
Remote from each unhallowed eye;

Teach him to spell those mystic names
That kindle bright immortal flames;

And guide his young unpractised feet
To reach coy Learning's lofty seat.”

Ah, luckless hour! mistaken maids,

When Cupid sought the Muse's shades !
Of their sweetest notes beguiled,
By the sly insidious child;
Now of power his darts are found

Twice ten thousand times to wound.

Now no more the slackened strings
Breathe of high immortal things,

But Cupid tunes the Muse's lyre
To languid notes of soft desire.
In

every clime, in every tongue,
”Tis love inspires the poet's song.
Hence Sappho's soft infectious page ;

Monimia's woe;

Othello's rage;

Abandoned Dido's fruitless prayer;

And Eloisa's long despair;

The garland, blest with many a vow,
For haughty Sacharissa's brow;
And, washed with tears, the mournful verse

That Petrarch laid on Laura's herse.

But more than all the sister quire,
Music confessed the pleasing fire.
Here sovereign Cupid reigned alone;
Music and song were all his own.
Sweet, as in old Arcadian plains,
The British pipe has caught the strains :

And where the Tweed's pure current glides,
Or Liffy rolls her limpid tides ;
Or Thames his oozy waters leads
Through rural bowers or yellow meads,-
With many an old romantic tale
Has cheered the lone sequestered vale;
With many a sweet and tender lay
Deceived the tiresome summer day.

'Tis yours to cull with happy art Each meaning verse that speaks the heart; And fair arrayed, in order meet,

To lay the wreath at Beauty's feet.

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