What charms to fascinate the mind
Has Beauty's Genius here combin'd,
Could the Historian's voice be dumb,
Or to Fame's audience never come!
The Ruin's elevated pride, —
The waves that seem their banks to chide,
And, with a dashing torrent's force,
Impel their animated course, —
The chain of hills, enchanted ground,
That seems the vision to surround,
And looks, in dignity of shape,
A guard, precluding all escape;
Where Fancy, in the lap of Spring,
Has dropt; and rested from her wing,
At home in the majestic scene,
Its Muse, its Painter, and its Queen.
But, oh! what claims of prouder note
On Time's illumin'd current float!
What wreaths of glory ever new
Present their leaves to raptur'd view.
Here, without penalty or bribe,
A S IDNEY rul'd the Cambrian tribe,
Kept the surrounding World in awe,
With temper'd zeal, the soul of Law.
E LIZABETH'S imperial day
No brighter Champion can display,
Though B URGHLEY , with sagacious thought,
A S OLON to her councils brought;
Though Bacon upon Wisdom's throne,
To endless ages proudly known,
Saw with a penetrating eye,
The N EWTON of an opening sky,
And was the herald of the ray,
That pour'd a new-born stream of day;
Though D RAKE and V ERE , by sea and land,
Could all the martial wreaths command.
Here let us consecrate the dust,
With homage to the wise and just;
Here as the relicks we admire,
Their glowing ashes re-inspire.
Sprung from this Chief, another came,
The rival of his deathless name;
Was of all chivalry the sun,
In arts, in arms, the laurel won;
Expir'd in Valour's blooming year,
And liv'd in Fame's adoring tear.
To him the Nine are most in debt,
Nor ever can the zeal forget,
That, jealous of the sacred theme,
Could all its energies redeem.
The Poet's friend, by wit carest ,
And with his tuneful homage blest,
With manly courage undisguised,
The Patriot Queen at home advised;
Then, with her blessing on his head,
Resign'd and calm the warrior bled,
Abjur'd the cup, though sunk and faint,
In words that not a Muse can paint,
That found their way to every heart,
And rise above the reach of art.
Nor yet has Fame her picture clos'd,
Nor gratitude has yet repos'd.
May none explore this ruin'd wall,
But those whom T HYRSIS can recall,
From C OMUS and his midnight crew,
To visions of aethereal hue.
'Twas here that M ILTON strung the lyre,
And swept the chords with Grecian fire,
Could P LATO'S eloquence rehearse,
And moralize dramatic verse.
Here to his wand bright Fancy came,
And Music fann'd the genial flame.
Oh, could a single ray of thine,
Immortal Bard, be ever mine,
To envy — to ambition dead,
Here would I lay my weary'd head,
And meditate the lofty rhyme,
That spurns the victories of Time,
Inhale the inspirations here,
And catch the mantle I revere.
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