Oh hear, propitious hear, ye Nine, today
To greet Ictinus frame some grateful Lay,
He who has oft from your celestial stores
Called with judicious hand your sweetest flowers,
Who would those flowers in beauteous order twine
To form a garland, for his Valentine,
Would with Anacreon’s sprightly ease convey,
The secret meaning of his moral lay.
With elegance his flowing strains prolong
And all the graces picture in his song.
In vain I sue, th’ offended Nine disdain
For such a recreant to inspire my strain
Who since the Graces from the scene retire
To sing refuses, and neglects the lyre
Yet still though two are fled, a third remains
Once the most honoured by your plausive strains
Then let the “Goddess of the Sylphic mien”
O’ercome your silence, and dispel your spleen
Her smiles shall strive your labours to repay
And chase with sprightly mirth your griefs away.
Nay more, your numbers, from the stormy north
Again may lure the sweet Aglaia forth
And in the charms of wit and beauty drest,
Add new attractions to the Attic Chest.
Let these inducements then your soul incline
Once more to choose one for your Valentine.