Clement Clark Moore's Poetry
Clement Clark Moore
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Bright God of harmony, whose voice
Inspires the tuneful Nine,
Oh, grant me now thy golden lyre;
And teach a strain like thine!
And come, sweet Heliconian Maids,
With mine your notes to blend:
The gay Terpsichore
To her I've sworn eternal hate;
My soul indignant views
The wrongs by her to Pallas done,
And every sister Muse.
Deep shrouded in her gloomy clouds,
Black Night of her complains,
That many a dream within its grot
An idler now remains.
Enamour'd of the airy skill
This frolic Muse displays
When call'd by fashion's friendly voice
To guide the sportive maze,
A thousand nymphs of loveliest bloom,
Fair Hebe's joy and pride,
Reject me from their blithsome hearts,
And all my pangs deride.
What aspirations from this breast
Their charms have caus'd to rise!
But, ah! the winds dispers'd each pray'r
Before it reach'd the skies.
The lyre Apollo kindly gave
I find avail me naught;
Each tawny scraper's notes surpass
The strains by Phoebus taught.
How oft my swelling voice in vain
Has pour'd th' unheeded song,
While gay gavotte or dizzy waltz
Call'd off the ready throng.
In vain I've bid each thoughtless nymph
Consult her mirror true;
And, ere too late, the dire effects
Of ceaseless balls to view.
In vain I've mark'd the languid beam,
That lights her sleepless eye,
And loudly mourn'd the faded cheek,
Where new blown roses die.
In vain I've tried these various arts,
And bid the numbers flow;
I've learn't, 'tis folly to resist
A fiddler's magic bow.
Would that Apollo made thee leave
The pure Castalian choir;
Or bound thee with a golden string
From off thy useless lyre!
Learn, bold intruder, to the feet
Thy empire is confin'd;
Leave, then, some more exalted power
To sway the human mind.
But whither is my ardent soul
In fury wrapt away?
Pardon, ye fair, who court this Muse,
And love her frolick sway.
Already from the nymphs I hear
The low-voic'd murmurs rise;
I see the frowns that shade their brows---
The lightning of their eyes,
And looks, that thousand dire alarms
Within my breast create;
Lest I, like Orpheus, should be torn,
Or meet Absyrtus' fate.
Ah, smooth those brows so fiercely knit!
Fair vot'ries of the dance;
And let a beaming smile of peace
Adorn each lovely glance.
Now let those fallen cheeks, so pale,
Resume their native red;
No more let peace and joy be chas'd
By words in frolick said.
And hark, your willing ears may catch
The distant prelude's sound;
I see the Goddess you adore descend,
To lead the festive round.
Now, from your seats, all spring alert,
'Twere folly to delay,
In well-assorted pairs unite,
And nimbly trip away.


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