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With bolder crest, the dauntless warrior strode;
With nobler tongue the ardent statesman glow'd;-.
And Athens reign's Minerva of the globe;
First, in the helmet-fairest in the robe;-
In arms she triumph’d, as in letters shone,
of Taste the palace, and of War the throne.
But lo! where, rising in majestic flight, The Roman Eagle sails th' expanse of light! His wings, like heaven's vast canopy, unfurld, Spread their broad plumage o'er the subject world, Behold! he soars where golden Phæbus rolls, And percbing on his car, o'erlooks the poles. Far, a revolves the chariot's radiant way, He wants his empire o'er the tide of day; From where it rolls on yon bright sea of suns, To where in light's remotest ebb it runs.
The globe half ravag'd by the storm of war, The gates of Greece admit the victor's car; Chain'd to his wheels is captive Science led, And Taste, transplanted, blooms at Tiber's head O'er the rude minds of empire's hardy race The opening pupil beam'd of letter'd grace; With charms so sweet, the houseless Drama smild, That Rome adopted Athens' orphan child. Fledg'd by her hand, the Mantuan swan aspir’d; Aw'd by her power, e'en Pompey's self retir'd; Sheath'd was the sword, by which a world had bled, And Janus blushing to his temple fled: The globe's proud Butcher grew humanely brave; Earth stanch'd her wounds, and Ocean hush'd his wave
At length, like huge Enceladus depress’d,
Groaning with slavery's mountain on their breast,
The supine nations struggled from disgrace,
And Rome, like Etna, totter'd from her base.
Thus set the sun of intellectual light, And, wrapt in clouds, lower'd on the Gothic night. Dark gloom'd the storm-the rushing torrent pour'd, And wide the deep Cimmerian deluge shower'd; E'en Learning's loftiest bills were cover'd o'er, And seas of dullness roll'd, without a shore. Yet ere the surge Parnassus' top o'erflow'd, The banish'd Muses fled their blest abode
Prail wwe their art, the heaven-topp'd reas to brave,
The wind their compass, and their helm the wave;
No port to cheer ther, and no star to guide,
From clime to clime they rov'd the billowy tide;
At length, by stormed and tempests wafted oʻer,
They found an Ararat on Albion's sbore.
Yet long so sterile prov'd the ranged age,
That scarcely seem'd to vegetate the Stages
Nature, in dotage, second childhood mouro'd,
And to her infunt cradle had return'd
But hark! her mighty rival sweeps the stringas
Sweet Avon, Row not! _'tis thy Shakspeare sings!
With Blanchard's® wing, in fancy's heav'n he sours;
With Herschell's eye, another world explores!
Taught by the tones of his melodious song,
The scenic Muses tun'd their barbarous tongue;
With subtile powers the crudest soul refin'd,
And warm'd the Zembla of the frozen mind.
The world's new queen, Augusta, own'd their charms,
And clasp'd the Grecian nymphs in British arms.
Then shone the Drama with imperial art,
And made a province of the human heart.
What nerve of verse can sketch th'extatic view,
When she and Garrick sigh’d their last adieu!
Description but a shadow's shade appears,
When Siddons looks a nation into tears!
But ah! while thus unrivall'd reigns the Muse,
Her soul o'erflows, and grief ber face bedews
Sworn at the altar, proud Oppression's foe,
She weeps, indignant, for her Britain's wo.
Long has she cast a fondly wishful eye
On the pure climate of this western sky:
And now, while Europe bleeds at every vein,
And pinion'd forests shake the crimson'd main;
While Gallia, wall'd by foes, collected stands,
And hurls her thunders from an hundred bands:
Lurd by a clime, where --hostile arma afar, –
Peace rolls luxurious in her dove-drawn car;
Where Freedom first awoke the human mind,
And broke th' enchantment which enslav'd mankind; • Blanchard, the Æronaut, was at that time in Boston, and at the heiglit of his celebrity
Bebold! Apollo seeks this liberal plain,
And brings the Thespian Goddess in his train.
Oh! bappy realm! to whom are richly given
The noblest bounties of indulgent heaven;
For whom hus Earth her wealthiest mine bestow'd,
And Commerce bridgʻd old Ocean'o broadest flood;
To you, a stranger guest, the Drama lies;
An angel wanderer in a pilgrim's guine!
To charm the fancy, and to fenst the heart,
She spreads the banquet of the scenic art.
By you supported, shall her infant stage
Portray, adorn, and regulate the age.
When Faction rages with intemperate sway,
And gray-hair'd rices shame the face of day:
Drawn from their covert to th' indignant pito
Be such the game to stock the part of Wit,
That park, where Genius all his shafts may draw,.
Nor dread the terrors of a Ferart Lau.
But not to scenes of pravity contin'd,
Here polish'a life an ample field shall finds
Reflected here, its fuir perspective, view,
The stage, the camera the landscapre, you.
Ye lovely fair, wbone circling beauties shine
A radiant galaxy of charms divines
Whose gentle hearts thoue tender soenca approve,
Where Pity begs, or kneels adoring Love:
Ye sons of sentiment, whose borom fire
The song of pathoe, and the opic lyres
• This remark, which has the rare property of being true, as well poetical, was made seventeen years ago: and since that time the British stage has been constantly declining, and the American rapidly rising into consequence and fame. Show seems to be the only attraction now, in England: and the romances of Blue Beard, and Party Thieves, have lately drawn greater crowds to Covent-garden than ever were attracted by the plays of Shakspeare, merely because a drove of real horres were exhibited in the processions. This miserable perversion has been thus energetically deplored in some late verses by Mr. SHERIDAN.
How arts improve in this degenerate age!
Peers mount the box, and horaes tread the stage!
While waltzing females, with unblushing face,
Disdain to dance but in a man's embrace!
How arts improve, when Modesty is dead,
And Taste and Sense are,like our bullion, -fled: