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Chill, dark, alone, adreed he lay, 'Till up the welkin rose the day,
Then deem'd the dole was o'er ;
But wot ye well his harder lot?
His seely back the hunch had got
This tale a Sybil-nurse ared;
She softly stroked my youngling head,
And when the tale was done,
"Thus some are born, my son," she cries,
"With base impediments to rise,
And some are born with none.
"But virtue can itself advance
To what the favourite fools of chance
By fortune seem'd design'd:
Virtue can gain the odds of fate,
And from itself shake off the weight
Upon the unworthy mind."
'Twas at the royal feast, for Persia won,
By Philip's warlike son:
Aloft in awful state
The god-like hero sate
On his imperial throne:
His valiant peers were placed around;
Their brows with roses and with myrtle bound:
So should desert in arms be crown'd.
The lovely Thaïs by his side
Sat, like a blooming eastern bride,
In flower of youth and beauty's pride.
None but the brave,
None but the brave,
None but the brave deserve the fair.
Timotheus placed on high
Amid the tuneful quire,
With flying fingers touch'd the lyre :
The trembling notes ascend the sky,
The song began from Jove;
When he to fair Olympia press'd,
And stamp'd an image of himself, a sovereign of the world.
The listening crowd admire the lofty sound;
A present deity, they shout around;
A present deity, the vaulted roofs rebound:
The monarch hears,
Assumes the god,
Affects to nod,
And seems to shake the spheres.
The praise of Bacchus, then, the sweet musician sung; Of Bacchus ever fair, and ever young;
The jolly god in triumph comes;
Sound the trumpets, beat the drums;
He shows his honest face.
Now give the hautboys breath; he comes, he comes!
Drinking joys did first ordain :
Rich the treasure,
Sweet the pleasure;
Sweet is pleasure after pain.
Sooth'd with the sound, the king grew vain;
Fought all his battles o'er again :
And thrice he routed all his foes; and thrice he slew the
The master saw the madness rise;
His glowing cheeks, his ardent eyes;
Soft pity to infuse :
He sung Darius great and good,
By too severe a fate,
Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen,
Fallen from his high estate,
And weltering in his blood:
With not a friend to close his eyes.
With downeast look the joyless victor sate,
Revolving in his alter'd soul
The various turns of fate below;
And now and then a sigh he stole ;
And tears began to flow.
The mighty master smiled to see
Take the good the gods provide thee.
The many rend the skies with loud applause;
Who caused his care,
And sigh'd and look'd, sigh'd and look'd,
At length, with love and wine at once oppress'd,
Now strike the golden lyre again;
A louder yet, and yet a louder strain.
And rouse him, like a rattling peal of thunder