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Samuel Johnson

(1709 - 1784 / Lichfield / England)

From the Medea of Euripides


The rites derived from ancient days
With thoughtless reverence we praise,
The rites that taught us to combine
The joys of music and of wine,
And bid the feast, and song and bowl
O'erfill the saturated soul:
But ne'er the flute or lyre applied
To cheer despair or soften pride;
Nor call them to the gloomy cells
Where Wants repines and Vengeance swells;
Where Hate sits musing to betray,
And murder meditates his prey!
To dens of guilt and shades of care,
Ye sons of melody, repair;
Nor deign the festive dome to cloy
With superfluity of joy,
Ah! little needs the minstrel's power
To speed the light convivial hour,
The board with varied plenty crown'd
May spare the luxuries of sound.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010

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