William Cowper (1731–1800)
Thou magic lyre, whose fascinating sound
Seduced the savage monsters from their cave,
Drew rocks and trees, and forms uncouth around,
And bade wild Hebrus hush his listening wave;
No more thy undulating warblings flow
O’er Thracian wilds of everlasting snow!
Awake to sweeter sounds, thou magic lyre,
And paint a lover’s bliss—a lover’s pain!
Far nobler triumphs now thy notes inspire,
For see, Eurydice attends thy strain;
Her smile, a prize beyond the conjuror’s aim,
Superior to the cancelled breath of fame.
From her sweet brow to chase the gloom of care,
To check the tear that dims the beaming eye,
To bid her heart the rising sigh forbear,
And flush her orient cheek with brighter joy,
In that dear breast soft sympathy to move,
And touch the springs of rapture and of love.
Ah me! how long bewildered and astray,
Lost and benighted, did my footsteps rove,
Till sent by heaven to cheer my pathless ray,
A star arose—the radiant star of love.
The God propitious joined our willing hands,
And Hymen wreathed us in his rosy bands.
Yet not the beaming eye, or placid brow,
Or golden tresses, hid the subtle dart;
To charms superior far than those I bow,
And nobler worth enslaves my vanquished heart;
The beauty, elegance, and grace combined,
Which beam transcendent from that angel mind.
While vulgar passions, meteors of a day,
Expire before the chilling blasts of age,
Our holy flame with pure and steady ray,
Its glooms shall brighten, and its pangs assuage;
By virtue (sacred vestal) fed, shall shine,
And warm our fainting souls with energy divine.
Ordained Servant Online, February 2019.