Epode

O parent of the Muses, who alone,
From Time's destructive might, hast pow'r to save
The works of man; O Memory, behold
This votive tablet, which the faithful hand
Of Cleophron suspends amid thy dome.
Accept the gift, propitious; & preserve
The record which it holds, the voice & prayer
Of jealous fame. For by ignoble feet
Soon will thy courts be trampled, & the tongues
Of Hippias & Thrax with sland'rous rites
Affront thy altar. But permit not thou,
O queen, their unblest envy to impair
Thy servant's name; or from his duteous cares
To turn thy gracious notice. Long their arts,
Their snares distributed thro' vulgar paths,
Neglecting hath he scorn'd; secure of thee,
Secure that never thine eternal gates
The rude access of ignorance & rage
Would suffer. But behold; the favour'd bard
Who lately this heroic mansion trod,
Thy priest, with evil auspices to them
Hath left the charge his off'rings to present
Before thy footstool. Fierce with his commands,
Ev'n now presumptuous up thy awful heights
They come; with mutual flatt'ry sounding forth
That honour much unhop'd; & fell revenge
To each gainsayer, & envenom'd wounds
To all who spurn'd erewhile their sordid toils,
Denouncing. But, immortal matron, say;
Wilt thou accept them? wilt thou stoop to hear
The worship of blasphemers? No. by all
The sacred Manes dearest to thy reign,
By all the praise of sages, patriots, kings,
Dash their foul homage; & let equal shame
Repay the profanation. So well-pleas'd
Shall purer votaries, throughout the bounds
Of Albion's land, to thy asseted throne
Do rev'rence, so shall my devoted song
Nor day nor night refuse to deck thy shrine
With trophies won from envy & from death.
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