Here you will find the Long Poem The Origin Of Song Writing of poet Anna Lætitia Barbauld
WHEN Cupid, wanton boy, was young, His wings unfledg'd, and rude his tongue, He loiter'd in Arcadian bowers, And hid his bow in wreaths of flowers ; Or pierc'd some fond unguarded heart, With now and then a random dart ; But heroes scorned the idle boy, And love was but a shepherd's toy : When Venus, vex'd to see her child Amidst the forests thus run wild, Would point him out some nobler game, Gods, and godlike men to tame. She seiz'd the boy's reluctant hand, And led them to the virgin band, Where the sister muses round Swell the deep majestic sound ; And in solemn strains unite, Breathing chaste, severe delight : Songs of chiefs, and heroes old, In unsubmitting virtue bold ; Of even valour's temperate heat, And toils to stubborn patience sweet ; Of nodding plumes, and burnish'd arms, And glory's bright terrific charms. The potent sounds like light'ning dart Resistless thro' the glowing heart ; Of power to lift the fixed soul High o'er fortune's proud controul ; Kindling deep, prophetic musing ; Love of beauteous death infusing ; Scorn, and unconquerable hate Of tyrant pride's unhallow'd state. The boy abash'd, and half afraid, Beheld each chaste immortal maid : Pallas spread her Egis there ; Mars stood by with threat'ning air ; And stern Diana's icy look With sudden chill his bosom struck. Daughters of Jove receive the child, The queen of beauty said, and smil'd : (Her rosy breath perfum'd the air, And scatter'd sweet contagion there ; Relenting nature learnt to languish, And sicken'd with delightful anguish Receive him, artless yet and young ; Refine his air and smooth his tongue ; Conduct him thro' your fav'rite bowers, Enrich'd with fair perennial flowers, To solemn shades and springs that lie Remote from each unhallow'd eye ; Teach him to spell those mystic names That kindle bright immortal flames ; And guide his young unpractis'd feet To reach coy learning's lofty seat. Ah, luckless hour ! mistaken maids ! When Cupid sought the Muses shades : Of their sweetest notes beguil'd, By the sly insidious child, Now of power his darts are found Twice ten thousand times to wound. Now no more the slacken'd strings Breathe of high immortal things, But Cupid tunes the Musis lyre, To languid notes of soft desire : In every clime, in every tongue, 'Tis love inspires the poet's song. Hence Sappho's soft infectious page ; Monimia's woe ; Othello's rage ; Abandon'd Dido's fruitless prayer ; And Eloisa's long despair ; The garland bless'd with many a vow, For haughty Sacharissa's brow ; And wash'd with tears the mournful verse That Petrarch laid on Laura's herse. But more than all the sister quire, Music confess'd the pleasing fire. Here sovereign Cupid reign'd alone ; Music and song were all his own. Sweet as in old Arcadian plains, The British pipe has caught the strains : And where the Tweed's pure current glides, Or Lissy rolls her limpid tides, Or Thames his oozy waters leads Thro' rural bowers or yellow meads, With many an old romantic tale Has cheer'd the lone sequester'd vale; With many a sweet and tender lay Deceiv'd the tiresome summer-day. 'Tis yours to cull with happy art Each meaning verse that speaks the heart ; And fair array'd, in order meet, To lay the wreath at beauty's feet.