Ethereal race, inhabitants of air,
Who hymn your god amid the secret grove;
Ye unseen beings, to my harp repair,
And raise majestic strains, or melt in love.
Those tender notes, how kindly they upraid,
With what soft woe they thrill the lover's heart!
Sure from the hand of some unhappy maid,
Who died for love, these sweet complainings part.
But hark! that strain was of a graver tone,
On the deep strings his hand some hermit throws;
Or he, the sacred Bard, who sat alone
In the drear waste, and wept his people's woes.
Such was the song which Zion's children sung,
When by Euphrates' stream they made their plaint;
And to such sadly solemn notes are strung
Angelic harps, to soothe a dying saint.
Methinks I hear the full celestial choir,
Through Heaven's high dome their awful anthem raise;
Now chanting clear, and now they all conspire
To swell the lofty hymn from praise to praise.
Let me, ye wandering spirits of the wind,
Who, as wild fancy prompts you, touch the string,
Smit with your theme, be in your chorus joined,
For, till you cease, my Muse forgets to sing.