S O N G XXI.

I.

YE Muses, pray my heart inspire,
And tune my vocal string;
Hear my complaints while I stay here;
Teach me your praise to sing.

II.

Some tedious days, as dark as night,
I have no comfort known,
Nor shar'd one moment of delight;
My freedom now is gone!

III.

I'm here confin'd, I may not stir;
I share much languid wo!
Each ling'ring night, like to despair,
Mine eyes with grief o'erflow!

IV.

No rays of liberty I find
That can delight my soul:
The Muse and liberty's all one;
They cannot bear control.

V.

Why fled so soon my joyful days,
Which once were blithe and free,
And fed on friendships fost'ring rays,
Which rays gave life to me?

VI.

Return, sweet pleasures, once again,
Sweet Liberty return;
Dispel my grief, unbind my chain;
Don't leave me here to mourn!

VII.

My soul, that's now in thraldom bound,
Enjoys no sweet repose;
Yet Fate my chains may all unbind;
'Tis heav'n that gifts bestows.

VIII.

Around me once fine flow'rs did grow,
And birds did sweetly sing;
My cheek then wore a healthful hue,
Like roses in the Spring:

IX.

Now finest sweets can't serve my board,
That's found on land or sea--
No pleasure they can me afford
Whilst I want Liberty!

X.

The new caught bird put in the cage,
Though in a painted hall,
She flighters round, still in a rage;
Set free, she'll scorn them all.

XI.

Why should a man, by chance o'erthrown,
Or by oppression caught,
Beneath this load so heavy grown,
That wounds his manly thought?

XII.

Pray, what's the odds? 'tis only gold
That makes his front to shine;
His frame is of no finer mould,
Nor purer dust than mine.

XIII.

No brighter sun can light his steps,
Than what has shone on me!
All genuine comforts I respect,
That come from the Most High.

XIV.

Pray, where is his conspicuous worth,
That rais'd his matchless fame?
He stamps dominion on his birth,
That men may fear his name:

XV.

His pride looks down with sullen brow,
On all men who are poor;
Ev'n though to him the knee they bow,
Their cry he will not hear:

XVI.

His high ambition him doth sway;
Gold makes his name to live:
To him the senseless homage pay;
'Tis mean such to receive.

XVII.

All spurious arts I'll still disdain,
Nor e'er shall court for state;
If truth and candour me shall arm,
Make honour more complete.

XVIII.

With social peace I'll live retir'd;
I'll yield to Nature's sway;
I'll sing whate'er the Muse inspir'd;
My wealth can't make me stray.

XIX.

I still shall wear a chearful smile;
I'll pity wealth and pride;
No falsehood shall my breast beguile:
Seek wisdom for my guide.

XX.

Come well or wo, I'll dry my tears;
My hope shall me defend:
Hope still does whisper in my ears
The Muse shall be my friend.

XXI.

I never more shall be man's prey,
Nor ever more complain:
My hope shall drive despair away;
'Tis hopes that me sustain.

XXII.

Let knaves and rogues still restless strive,
Their sordid arts to blaze;
For me, I'll blush e'er to arrive
At fame by such poor ways.

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