What Muse of all, that range thro’ Tempé’s shades,
And woo lone quiet in her silent glades,
Shall guide my trembling fingers o’er the lyre,
To hail thy natal day, with Attic fire?
Must sage Melpomene, the task essay;
And sing in numbers slow the solemn lay?
Or Terpsichore, with livelier verse attend
And aid the humble tribute of a friend?
But not one Muse alone, the lay can weave
From th’ ideas which that friend would give.
Th’aspiring mind invokes thrice triple aid,
To greet the birthday of the Attic Maid!
Come then ye Nine! haste on expanded wing,
From the gay margin of Piera’s spring;
Quit the close bowers of th’ Aonian grove,
And the rapt soul with inspiration move.
Your softest notes upon my senses breathe,
And aid a friend to form one blooming wreath,
With poesy and friendship’s flowers dressed
To crown the Princess of your fav’rite Chest.
London, July 14th 1811