EXULT MY MUSE! exult to see Each envious, waspish, jealous thing, Around its harmless venom fling, And dart its powerless fangs at THEE! Ne'er shalt THOU bend thy radiant wing, To sweep the dark revengeful string; Or meanly stoop, to steal a ray, E'en from RINALDO'S glorious lay, Tho' his transcendent Verse should twine About thy heart, each bliss divine.
O MUSE ADOR'D, I woo thee now From yon bright Heaven, to hear my vow; From thy blest wing a plume I'll steal, And with its burning point record Each firm indissoluble word, And with my lips the proud oath seal!
I SWEAR;OH, YE, whose souls like mine Beam with poetic rays divine, Attend my voice;whate'er my FATE In this precarious wild'ring state, Whether the FIENDS with rancorous ire Strike at my heart's unsullied fire: While busy ENVY'S recreant guile Calls from my cheek THE PITYING SMILE; Or jealous SLANDER mean and vain, Essays my mind's BEST BOAST to stain; Should all combine to check my lays, And tear me from thy fost'ring gaze, Ne'er will I quit thy burning eye, 'Till my last, eager, gasping sigh, Shall, from its earthly mansion flown, Embrace THEE on thy STARRY THRONE.
Sweet soother of the pensive breast, Come in thy softest splendours dress'd; Bring with thee, REASON, chastely mild; And CLASSIC TASTEher loveliest child; And radiant FANCY'S offspring bright, Then bid them all their charms unite, My mind's wild rapture to inspire, With thy own SACRED, GENUINE FIRE.
I ask no fierce terrific strain, That rends the breast with tort'ring pain, No frantic flight, no labour'd art, To wring the fibres of the heart! No frenzy'd GUIDE, that madd'ning flies O'er cloud-wrapp'd hillsthro' burning skies;
That sails upon the midnight blast, Or on the howling wild wave cast, Plucks from their dark and rocky bed The yelling DEMONS of the deep, Who soaring o'er the COMET'S head, The bosom of the WELKIN sweep! Ne'er shall MY hand, at Night's full noon, Snatch from the tresses of the moon A sparkling crown of silv'ry hue, Besprent with studs of frozen dew, To deck my brow with borrow'd rays, That feebly imitate the SUN'S RICH BLAZE.
AH lead ME not, dear gentle Maid, To poison'd bow'r or haunted glade; Where beck'ning spectres shrieking, glare Along the black infected air; While bold "fantastic thunders " leap Indignant, midst the clam'rous deep, As envious of its louder tone, While lightnings shoot, and mountains groan With close pent fires, that from their base Hurl them amidst the whelming space; Where OCEAN'S yawning throat resounds, And gorg'd with draughts of foamy ire, Madly o'er-leaps its crystal bounds, And soars to quench the SUN'S proud fire. While NATURE'S self shall start aghast, Amid the desolating blast, That grasps the sturdy OAK'S firm breast, And tearing off its shatter'd vest, Presents its gnarled bosom, bare, To the hot light'ning's with'ring glare!
TRANSCENDENT MUSE! assert thy right, Chase from thy pure PARNASSIAN height Each bold usurper of thy LYRE, Each phantom of phosphoric fire, That dares, with wild fantastic flight The timid child of GENIUS fright; That dares with pilfer'd glories shine Along the dazzling frenzy'd line, Where tinsel splendours cheat the mind, While REASON, trembling far behind, Drops from her blushing front thy BAYS, And scorns to share the wreath of praise.
But when DIVINE RINALDO flings Soft rapture o'er the bounding strings; When the bright flame that fills HIS soul, Bursts thro' the bonds of calm controul, And on enthusiastic wings To Heaven's Eternal Mansion springs, Or darting thro' the yielding skies, O'er earth's disastrous valley flies; Forbear his glorious flight to bind; YET o'er his TRUE POETIC Mind Expand thy chaste celestial ray, Nor let fantastic fires diffuse Deluding lustre round HIS MUSE, To lead HER glorious steps astray! AH ! let his matchless HARP prolong The thrilling Tone, the classic song, STILL bind his Brow with deathless Bays, STILL GRANT HIS VERSEA NATION'S PRAISE.
But, if by false persuasion led, His varying FANCY e'er should tread The paths of vitiated Taste, Where folly spreads a "weedy waste;" OH ! may HE feel no more the genuine fire, That warms HIS TUNEFUL SOUL, and prompts THY SACRED LYRE.