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   Chapter 24 No.24

The Poems of Jonathan Swift, D.D., Volume 1 By Jonathan Swift Characters: 1620

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03


The eager Muse took wing upon the waves' decline,

When war her cloudy aspect just withdrew,

When the bright sun of peace began to shine,

And for a while in heavenly contemplation sat,

On the high top of peaceful Ararat;

And pluck'd a laurel branch, (for laurel was the first that grew,

The first of plants after the thunder, storm and rain,)

And thence, with joyful, nimble wing,

Flew dutifully back again,

And made an humble chaplet for the king.[2]

And the Dove-Muse is fled once more,

(Glad of the victory, yet frighten'd at the war,)

And now discovers from afar

A peaceful and a flourishing shore:

No sooner did she land

On the delightful strand,

Than straight she sees the country all around,

Where fatal Neptune ruled erewhile,

Scatter'd with flowery

vales, with fruitful gardens crown'd,

And many a pleasant wood;

As if the universal Nile

Had rather water'd it than drown'd:

It seems some floating piece of Paradise,

Preserved by wonder from the flood,

Long wandering through the deep, as we are told

Famed Delos[3] did of old;

And the transported Muse imagined it

To be a fitter birth-place for the God of wit,

Or the much-talk'd-of oracular grove;

When, with amazing joy, she hears

An unknown music all around,

Charming her greedy ears

With many a heavenly song

Of nature and of art, of deep philosophy and love;

While angels tune the voice, and God inspires the tongue.

In vain she catches at the empty sound,

In vain pursues the music with her longing eye,

And courts the wanton echoes as they fly.

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