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ODE FOR MUSIC ON ST. CECILIA'S DAY.

ALEXANDER POPE.

[Alexander Pope was one of those great geniuses of which literary history has but few names to record. He stands out and apart from the masses, and ranks only with the worthiest of England's worthies. He was born in Lombard-street, London, where his father carried on business as a linen-draper, in 1688. Both his parents being Roman Catholics, he was placed, at the age of eight, under the care of one Taverner, a priest, who taught him the rudiments of Greek and Latin. At the age of twelve he removed with his parents to Binfield, in Windsor Forest; and about the same time he wrote his “Ode on Solitude".

-a most remarkable production for so young a genius. Here he studied Waller, Spenser, and Dryden, and, at the age of sixteen, wrote his “Pastorals," which attracted the attention of the leading wits of the time. His “Essay on Criticism” was published in 1711, and the “Messiah" appeared on the 1st of September in the same year. This was followed by the “Ode for St. Cecilia's Day,'' which appeared originally in "The Spectator." About the same time he wrote “ The Rape of the Lock.” After bringing out "Abelard and Eloisa,”! " The Temple of Fame," and "Windsor Forest,” he undertook the translation of the “Iliad,” which he published by subscription, and netted (fortunate author) above 50001. With a part of this he purchased his house at Twickenham, so long after fondly recognised as Pope's Villa." On the completion of the “Iliad,” he undertook the “Odyssey;" but a spice of commercial enterprise was mixed up with his literary labours, for he not only got it subscribed to liberally, but he employed other learned men (among them Broome, Fenton, and Parnell) to assist him in his work. Pope's success was followed by the usual result. Other literary men became jealous of him, and jealousy begets enmity. Pope could have afforded to treat all this with silent contempt, but he took vengeance on his detractors in "The Dunciad;" and, unfortunately, the satirical vein, once indulged in, was found very difficult to control.

Like Byron after him, he was induced to satirise some who had done him little or no injury. In 1729 he published his great ethical epic, the “Essay on Man.” In 1737 he printed his " Letters," by subscription, and made money by them, but the publication was against all the tenets of literary honour and gentlemanly breeding. At the time of his death he was engaged in preparing a complete edition of his works. He died May 30th, 1744, aged 56.)

DESCEND, ye Nine! descend and sing :

The breathing instruments inspire;
Wake into voice each silent string,
And sweep the sounding lyre!

In a sadly-pleasing strain,
Let the warbling lute complain :

Let the loud trumpet sound,
Till the roofs all around

The shrill echoes rebound:
While, in more lengthen'd notes and slow,
The deep, majestic, solemn organs blow.

Hark! the numbers, soft and clear,
Gently steal

upon
the

ear;
Now louder, and yet louder rise,

And fill with spreading sounds the skies;
Exulting in triumph now swell the bold notes,
In broken air, trembling, the wild music floats;

Till, by degrees, remote and small,

The strains decay,

And melt away,

In a dying, dying fall.
By Music, minds an equal temper know,

Nor swell too high, nor sink too low.
If in the breast tumultuous joys arise,
Music her soft, assuasive voice applies ;

Or, when the soul is press'd with cares,

Exalts her in enlivening airs.
Warriors she fires with animated sounds;
Pours balm into the bleeding lover's wounds:

Melancholy lifts her head,
Morpheus rouses from his bed,
Sloth unfolds her arms and wakes,

List’ning envy drops her snakes;
Intestine war no more our passions wage,
And giddy factions bear away their rage.

But when our country's cause provokes to arms,
How martial music every bocom warms

So when the first bold vessel dar'd the seas,
High on the stern the Thracian rais’d his strain,

While Argo saw her kindred trees
Descend from Pelion to the main.

Transported demi-gods stood round,
And men grew heroes at the sound,

Inflam'd with glory's charms :
Each chief his sevenfold shield display'd,
And half unsheath'd the shining blade;
And seas, and rocks, and skies rebound,
To arms, to arms, to arms i

And when through all the infernal bounds,
Which flaming Phlegethon surrounds,

Love, strong as Death, the Poet led

To the pale nations of the dead.
What sounds were heard,
What scenes appear'd,

O'er all the dreary coasts !

Dreadful gleams,
Dismal screams,
Fires that glow,
Shrieks of woe,
Sullen moans,

Hollow groans,

And cries of tortured ghosts!
But hark! he strikes the golden lyre ;
And see! the tortured ghosts respire,

See, shady forms advance!
Thy stone, O Sisyphus, stands still,
Ixion rests upon his wheel,

And the pale spectres dance
The Furies sink upon their iron beds,
And snakes uncurl'd hang listening round their heads.

By the streams that ever flow,
By the fragrant winds that blow

O'er th' Elysian flow'rs;

By those happy souls who dwell
In yellow meads of asphodel,

Or amaranthine bow'rs;
By the hero's armed shades,
Glitt'ring thro' the gloomy glades;
By the youths that died for love,

Wandering in the myrtle grove,
Restore, restore Eurydice to life:
Oh take the husband, or return the wife!

He sung, and hell consented

To hear the poet's prayer:
Stern Proserpine relented,
And gave him back the fair.

Thus song could prevail

O'er death, and o'er hell,
A conquest how hard, and how glorious !
Though fate had fast bound her

With Styx nine times round her,
Yet music and love were victorious.

But soon, too soon, the lover turns his eyes :
Again she falls, again she dies, she dies!
How wilt thou now the fatal sisters move ?
No crime was thine, if 'tis no crime to love.

Now under hanging mountains,
Beside the falls of fountains,
Or where Hebrus wanders,
Rolling in maanders,

All alone,
Unheard, unknown,
He makes his moan;

And calls her ghost,
For ever, ever, ever lost !
Now with furies surrounded,
Despairing, confounded,
He trembles, he glows,

Amidst Rhodope's snows:
See, wild as the winds, o'er the desert he flies;
Hark! Hæmus resounds with the Bacchanals' cries -

Ah see, he dies !

Yet ev'n in death Eurydice he sung ;
Eurydice still trembled on his tongue :

Eurydice the woods,

Eurydice the floods,
Eurydice the rocks and hollow mountains rung.

Music the fiercest grief can charm,
And Fate's severest rage disarm;
Music can soften pain to ease,
And make despair and madness please :
Our joys below it can improve,

And antedate the bliss above.
This the divine Cecilia found,
And to her Maker's praise confin'd the sound.
When the full organ joins the tuneful quire,

Th' immortal pow'rs incline their ear :
Borne on the swelling notes our souls aspire,
While solemn airs improve the sacred fire ;

And angels lean from heav'n to hear.
Of Orpheus now no more let poets tell;

To bright Cecilia greater power is givn:
His numbers raised a shade from hell,

Hers lift the soul to heay'n.

ABOUT HUSBANDS.

BY JOHN G. SAXE. "A man is, in general, better pleased when he has a good

dinner upon his table than when his wife speaks Greek.”

Sam. Johnson.
JOHNSON was right. I don't agree to all

The solemn dogmas of the rough old stager:
But
very

what one may call The minor morals of the “Ursa Major." Johnson was right. Although some men adore

Wisdom in woman, and with learning cram her,

much approve

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