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Milton, not exhausted by this great effort, fol. With this work his poetical account closes; and a lowed it in 1670 by “ Paradise Regained," written few pieces in prose can scarcely claim particular upon a suggestion of the Quaker Elwood's, and ap- notice. He sunk tranquilly under an exhaustion of parenty regarded as the theological completion of the vital powers, in November, 1674, when he had the Paradise Lost. Although, in point of inven- nearly completed his 66th year. His remains were tion, its inferiority is plainly apparent, yet modern carried from his house in Bunhill-Fields to the criticism has pronounced that there are passages in church of St. Giles, Cripplegate, with a numerous it by no means unworthy of the genius of Milton, and splendid attendance. No monument marked allowance being made for the small compass of the the tomb of this great man; but his memory was subject, and his purpose in writing, it. Together honored with a tomb, in 1737, in Westminster with it appeared his tragedy of “Sampson Ago- Abbey, at the expense of Auditor Benson. The nistes," composed upon the model of antiquity, and only family whom he left were daughters. never intended for the stage.
Then to come, in spite of sorrow,
And at my window bid good-morrow,
Through the sweet-brier, or the vine,
(holy! While the cock, with lively din, 'Mongst horrid shapes, and shrieks, and sights un- Scatters the rear of Darkness thin, Find out some uncouth cell,
(wings, And to the stack, or the barn-door Where brooding Darkness spreads his jealous Stoutly struts his dames before ; And the night-raven sings;
Oft listening how the hounds and horn There under ebon shades, and low-brow'd rocks, Cheerly rouse the slumbering Morn, As ragged as thy locks,
From the side of some hoar hill, In dark Cimmerian desert ever dwell.
Through the high wood echoing shrill : But come, thou goddess fair and free,
Some time walking, not unseen, In Heaven yclep'd Euphrosyne,
By hedge-row elms, on hillocks green, And by men, heart-easing Mirth;
Right against the eastern-gate Whom lovely Venus, at a birth,
Where the great Sun begins his state, With two sister Graces more,
Rob'd in flames, and amber light, To ivy-crowned Bacchus bore :
The clouds in thousand liveries dight; Or whether (as some sager sing)
While the plowman, near at hand, The frolic wind, that breathes the spring,
Whistles o'er the furrow'd land, Zephyr, with Aurora playing,
And the milkmaid singeth blithe, As he met her once a-maying ;
And the mower whets his sithe, There on beds of violets blue,
And every shepherd tells his tale And fresh-blown roses wash'd in dew,
Under the hawthorn in the dale. Fill'd her with thee a daughter fair,
Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures, So buxom, blithe, and debonair.
Whilst the landscape round it measures ;
Where the nibbling flocks do stray ;
Mountains, on whose barren breast, Nods, and Becks, and wreathed Smiles,
The laboring clouds do often rest; Such as hang on Hebe's cheek,
Meadows trim with daisies pied, And love to live in dimple sleek;
Shallow brooks, and rivers wide: Sport that wrinkled Care derides,
Towers and battlements it sees And Laughter holding both his sides.
Bosom'd high in tufted trees, Come, and trip it, as you go,
Where perhaps some beauty lies, On the light fantastic toe ;
The Cynosure of neighboring eyes. And in thy right hand lead with thee
Hard by, a cottage chimney smokes, The mountain-nymph, sweet Liberty ;
From betwixt two aged oaks, And, if I give thee honor due,
Where Corydon and Thyrsis, met, Mirth, admit me of thy crew,
Are at their savory dinner set, To live with her, and live with thee,
Of herbs and other country messes, In unreproved pleasures free.
Which the neat-handed Phillig dresses ; To hear the lark begin his flight,
And then in haste her bower she leaves, And singing starile the dull Night,
With Thestylis to bind the sheaves; From his watch-tower in the skies,
Or, if the earlier season lead, 'Till the dappled Dawn doth rise ;
To the tann'd haycock in the mead.
Sometimes with secure delight
And ever, against eating cares,
These delights if thou canst give, Mirth, with thee I mean to live.
Dwell in some idle brain,
And fancies fond with gaudy shapes possess, As thick and numberless As the gay notes that people the sunbeams; Or likest hovering dreams,
The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train. But hail, thou goddess, sage and holy, Hail, divinest Melancholy ! Whose saintly visage is too bright To hit the sense of human sight, And therefore to our weaker view O'erlaid with black, staid Wisdom's hue; Black, but such as in esteem Prince Memnon's sister might beseem, Or that starr’d Ethiop queen that strove To set her beauty's praise above The sea-nymphs, and their powers offended : Yet thou art higher far descended : Thee bright-hair'd Vesta, long of yore, To solitary Saturn bore; His daughter she; in Saturn's reign, Such mixture was not held a stain : Oft in glimmering bowers and glades He met her, and in secret shades Of woody Ida's inmost grove, Whilst yet there was no fear of Jove. Come, pensive Nun, devout and pure, Sober, stedfast, and demure, All in a robe of darkest grain, Flowing with majestic train, And sable stole of Cyprus lawn, Over thy decent shoulders drawn. Come, but keep thy wonted state, With even step, and musing gait; And looks commercing with the skies, Thy rapt soul sitting in thine eyes ; There, held in holy passion still, Forget thyself to marble, till With a sad leaden downward cast Thou fix them on the earth as fast : And join with thee calm Peace, and Quiet, Spare Fast, that oft with gods doth diet, And hears the Muses in a ring Aye round about Jove's altar sing : And add to these retired Leisure, That in trim gardens takes his pleasure : But first, and chiefest, with thee bring, Him that yon soars on golden wing, Guiding the fiery-wheeled throne, The cherub Contemplation; And the mute Silence hist along, 'Less Philomel will deign a song, In her sweetest saddest plight, Smoothing the rugged brow of Night, While Cynthia checks her dragon yoke, Gently o'er the accustom'd oak: Sweet bird, that shunn'st the noise of folly, Most musical, most melancholy! Thee, chantress, oft, the woods among, I woo, to hear thy even-song ; And, missing thee, I walk unseen On the dry smooth-shaven green, To behold the wandering Moon, Riding near her highest noon, Like one that had been led astray Through the Heaven's wide pathless way; And oft, as if her head she bow'd, Stooping through a fleecy cloud, Oft, on a plat of rising ground, I hear the far-off Curfeu sound,
IL PENSEROSO. HENCE, vain deluding Joys, The brood of Folly, without father bred! How little you bested,
Or fill the fixed mind with all your toys!
With such consort as they keep,
But let my due feet never fail
There let the pealing organ blow,
And may at last my weary age
Where I may sit and rightly spell
These pleasures, Melancholy, give,
Over some wide-water'd shore,
But, O sad virgin, that thy power
Thus, Night, oft see me in thy pale career, Till civil-suited Morn appear, Not trick'd and frounc'd as she was wont With the Attic boy to hunt, But kercheft in a comely cloud, While rocking winds are piping loud, Or ushered with a shower still When the gust hath blown his fill, Ending on the rustling leaves, With minute drops from off the eaves. And, when the Sun begins to fling His flaring beams, me, goddess, bring To arched walks of twilight groves, And shadows brown, that Sylvan loves, Of pine, or monumental oak, Where the rude axe, with heaved stroke, Was never heard the nymphs to daunt, Or fright them from their hallow'd haunt. There in close covert by some brook, Where no profaner eye may look, Hide me from Day's garish eye, While the bee with honied thigh, That at her flowery work doth sing, And the waters murmuring,
Who would not sing for Lycidas ? he knew
Begin then, Sisters of the sacred well,
So may some gentle Muse
For we were nurs’d upon the self-same hill,
Meanwhile the rural ditties were not mute, It was that fatal and perfidious bark,
100 Temper'd to the oaten flute;
Built in the eclipse, and rigg'd with curses dark, Rough Satyrs danc'd, and Fawns with cloven heel That sunk so low that sacred head of thine. From the glad sound would not be absent long; Next Camus, reverend sire, went footing slow, And old Damætas lov'd to hear our song.
His mantle hairy, and his bonnet sedge, But, О the heavy change, now thou art gone, Inwrought with figures dim, and on the edge Now thou art gone, and never must return! Like to that sanguine flower inscribed with woe. Thee, shepherd, thee the woods, and desert caves “ Ah! who hath reft” (quoth he) " my dearest With wild thyme and the gadding vine o'ergrown,
pledge ?" And all their echoes, mourn:
40 Last came, and last did go, The willows, and the hazel copses green,
The pilot of the Galilean lake; Shall now no more be seen
Two massy keys he bore of metals twain, 110 Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays. (The golden opes, the iron shuts amain,) As killing as the canker to the rose,
He shook his miter'd locks, and stern bespake : Or taint-worm to the weanling herds that graze, " How well could I have spared for thee, young Or frost to flowers, that their gay wardrobe wear,
swain, When first the white-thorn blows;
Enow of such, as for their bellies' sake Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherds' ear.
Creep, and intrude, and climb into the fold ? Where were ye, Nymphs, when the remorseless Of other care they little reckoning make, deep
Than how to scramble at the shearers' feast, Clos’d o'er the head of your lov'd Lycidas? 51 And shove away the worthy bidden guest; For neither were ye playing on the steep,
Blind mouths! that scarce themselves know how to Where your old bards, the famous Druids, lie,
hold Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high,
A sheep-hook, or have learn'd aught else the least Nor yet where Deva spreads her wizard stream: That to the faithful herdman's art belongs ! 121 Ay me! I fondly dream!
What recks it them? What need they? They are Had ye been there—for what could that have
sped ; done?
And, when they list, their lean and flashy songs What could the Muse herself that Orpheus bore, Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw; The Muse herself, for her enchanting son, The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed, Whom universal Nature did lament,
60 But, swoln with wind and the rank mist they When, by the rout that made the hideous roar,
draw, His gory visage down the stream was sent, Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread: Down the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shore ? Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw
Alas! what boots it with incessant care Daily devours apace, and nothing sed : To tend the homely, slighted, shepherd's trade, But that two-handed engine at the door 130 And strictly meditate the thankless Muse ? Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more.” Were it not better done, as others use,
Return, Alpheus, the dread voice is past, To sport with Amaryllis in the shade,
That shrunk thy streams; return, Sicilian Muse, Or with the tangles of Neæra's hair?
And call the vales, and bid them hither cast Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise Their bells, and flowerets of a thousand hues. (That last infirmity of noble mind)
71 Ye valleys low, where the mild whispers use To scorn delights and live laborious days; Of shades, and wanton winds, and gushing brooks But the fair guerdon when we hope to find, On whose fresh lap the swart-star sparely looks; And think to burst out into sudden blaze,
Throw hither all your quaint enamelld eyes, Comes the blind Fury with the abhorred shears, That on the green turf suck the honied showers, And slits the thin-spun life. " But not the praise,” And purple all the ground with vernal flowers. Phæbus replied, and touch'd my trembling ears; Bring the ratke primrose that forsaken dies, 142 “ Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil, The tufted crow-toe, and pale jessamine, Nor in the glistering foil
The white pink, and the pansy freakd with jet, Set off to the world, nor in broad rumor lies: The glowing violet, But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes, The musk-rose, and the well-attired woodbine, And perfect witness of all-judging Jove; 81 With cowslips wan that hang the pensive head, As he pronounces lastly on each deed,
And every flower that sad embroidery wears : Of so much fame in Heaven expect thy meed." Bid Amaranthus all his beauty shed, O fountain Arethuse, and thou honor'd flood, And daffadillies fill their cups with tears, 150 Smooth-sliding Mincius, crown'd with vocal reeds! To strew the laureate herse where Lycid lics. That strain I heard was of a higher mood : For, so to interpose a little ease, But now my oat proceeds,
Let our frail thoughts dally with false surmise ; And listens to the herald of the sea
Ay me! whilst thee the shores and sounding seas That came in Neptune's plea ;
90 Wash far away, where'er thy bones are hurl'd. He ask'd the waves, and ask'd the felon winds, Whether beyond the stormy Hebrides, What hard mishap hath doom'd this gentle swain? Where thou, perhaps, under the whelming tide, And question'd every gust of rugged wings Visit'st the bottom of the monstrous world ; That blows from off each beaked promontory:
Or whether thou, to our moist vows denied, They knew not of his story;
Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old,
160 And sage Hippotades their answer brings, Where the great vision of the guarded mount That not a blast was from his dungeon stray'd ; Looks toward Namancos and Bayona's hold; The air was calm, and on the level brine Look homeward, angel, now, and melt with ruth: Sleek Panope with all her sisters play'd. And, O ye dolphins, waft the hapless youth
Weep no more, woful shepherds, weep no more, To lay their just hands on that golden key,
That opes the palace of Eternity :
I would not soil these pure ambrosial weeds
That, like to rich and various gems, inlay Where, other groves and other streams along, The unadorned bosom of the deep: With nectar pure his oozy locks he laves, Which he, to grace his tributary gods, And hears the unexpressive nuptial song, By course commits to several government, In the blest kingdoms meek of joy and love. And gives them leave to wear their sapphire crowns, There entertain him all the saints above,
And wield their little tridents: but this isle, In solemn troops, and sweet societies,
The greatest and the best of all the main, That sing, and, singing in their glory, move, He quarters to his blue-hair'd deities; And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes. And all this tract that fronts the falling Sun 30 Now, Lycidas, the shepherds weep no more; 180 A nobler peer of mickle trust and power Henceforth thou art the genius of the shore, Has in his charge, with temper'd awe to guide In thy large recompense, and shalt be good An old and haughty nation, proud in arms : To all that wander in that perilous flood.
Where his fair offspring, nurs'd in princely lore, Thus sang the uncouth swain to the oaks and Are coming to attend their father's state, rills,
And new-intrusted sceptre : but their way
What never yet was heard in tale or song,
Bacchus, that first from out the purple grape
After the Tuscan mariners transform'd,
Coasting the Tyrrhene shore, as the winds listed,
On Circe's island fell : (Who knows not Circe, 50 THE PERSONS.
The daughter of the Sun, whose charmed cup THE ATTENDANT Spirit, afterwards in the habit of Whoever tasted, lost his upright shape, THYRSIS.
And downward fell into a grovelling swine ?) Comus, with his crew.
This nymph, that gaz'd upon his clustering locks THE LADY.
With ivy berries wreath'd, and his blithe youth, First BROTHER.
Had by him, ere he parted thence, a son SECOND BROTHER.
Much like his father, but his mother more, SABRINA, the Nymph.
Whom therefore she brought up, and Comus nam’d:
Who, ripe and frolic of his full-grown age, The chief persons, who presented, were Roving the Celtic and Iberian fields,
And, in thick shelter of black shades embower'd,
Offering to every weary traveller
His orient liquor in a crystal glass,
(For most do taste through fond intemperate thirst :) The ATTENDANT SPIRIT descends or enters.
Soon as the potion works, their human countenance,
The express resemblance of the gods, is chang'd BEFORE the starry threshold of Jove's court Into some brutish form of wolf, or bear, 70 My mansion is, where those immortal shapes Or ounce, or tiger, hog, or bearded goat, Of bright aerial spirits live inspher'd
All other parts remaining as they were ; In regions mild of calm and serene air,
And they, so perfect is their misery Above the smoke and stir of this dim spot, Not once perceive their foul disfigurement, Which men call earth; and, with low-thoughted care But boast themselves more comely than before; Confin'd and pester'd in this pinfold here,
And all their friends and native home forget, Strive to keep up a frail and feverish being, To roll with pleasure in a sensual stye. Unmindful of the crown that Virtue gives, Therefore when any, favor'd of high Jove, After this mortal change, to her true servants, 10 Chances to pass through this adventurous glade, Amongst the enthron'd gods on sainted seats. Swift as the sparkle of a glancing star
80 Yet some there be, that by due steps aspire I shoot from Ileaven, to give him sase convoy,