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Of forests and enchantments drear,
Where more is meant than meets the ear.

Thus, Night, oft see me in thy pale career,
Till civil-suited Morn appear,
Not trick'd and frounced as she was wont
With the Attic boy to hunt,
But kerchief’d in a comely cloud,
While rocking winds are piping loud,
Or usher'd 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 honeyed thigh,
That at her flowery work doth sing,
And the waters murmuring,
With such consort as they keep,
Entice the dewy feather'd Sleep:
And let some strange mysterious dream
Wave at his wings in aery stream
Of lively portraiture display'd,
Softly on my eyelids laid.
And, as I wake, sweet music breathe
Above, about, or underneath,
Sent by some spirit to mortal good,
Or the unseen genius of the wood.

But let my due feet never fail
To walk the studious cloisters pale,

And love the high-imbowered roof,
With antique pillars massy proof,
And storied windows richly dight,
Casting a dim religious light:
There let the pealing organ blow,
To the full-voiced quire below,
In service high and anthems clear,
As may with sweetness, through mine ear,
Dissolve me into ecstasies,
And bring all heaven before mine eyes.

And may at last my weary age
Find out the peaceful hermitage,
The hairy gown and mossy cell,
Where I may sit and rightly spell
Of every star that heaven doth shew,
And every herb that sips the dew;
Till old experience do attain
To something like prophetic strain.

These pleasures, Melancholy, give,
And I with thee will choose to live.

LYCIDAS.

Yet once more, oh ye laurels, and once more,
Ye myrtles brown, with ivy never-sere,
I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude :
And, with forced fingers rude,
Scatter your leaves before the mellowing year:
Bitter constraint, and sad occasion dear,
Compel me to disturb your season due;
For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime,
Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer:
Who would not sing for Lycidas ? he knew
Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhyme.
He must not float upon his watery bier
Unwept, and welter to the parching wind,
Without the meed of some melodious tear.

Vol. I.-I

Begin, then, sisters of the sacred well,
That from beneath the seat of Jove doth spring ;
Begin, and somewhat loudly sweep the string.
Hence with denial vain, and coy excuse:
So may some gentle Muse
With lucky words favour my destined urn;
And, as he passes, turn
And bid fair peace be to my sable shroud.

For we were nursed upon the selfsame hill,
Fed the same flock, by fountain, shade, and rill.
Together both, ere the high lawns appear'd
Under the opening eyelids of the morn,
We drove afield, and both together heard
What time the gray-fly winds her sultry horn,
Battening our flocks with the fresh dews of night,
Oft till the star, that rose, at evening bright,
Towards heaven's descent had sloped his westering

wheel. Meanwhile the rural ditties were not mute, Temper'd to the oaten flute; Rough satyrs danced, and fawns with cloven heel From the glad sound would not be absent long; And old Damætas loved to hear our song.

But, oh the heavy change, now thou art gone, Now thou art gone, and never must return! Thee, shepherd, thee the woods and desert caves With wild thyme and the gadding vine o'ergrown, And all their echoes, mourn : The willows, and the hazel copses green, Shall now no more be seen Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays. As killing as the canker to the rose, Or taint-worm to the weanling herds that graze, Or frost to flowers, that their gay wardrobe wear, When first the white-thorn blows: Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherds' ear. [deep

Where were ye, nymphs, when the remorseless Closed o'er the head of your loved Lycidas ? For neither were ye playing on the steep,

Where your old bards, the famous Druids, lie,
Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high,
Nor yet where Deva spreads her wizard stream:
Ay me! I fondly dream!
Had

ye

been there-for.what could that have done? What could the Muse herself that Orpheus bore, The Muse herself, for her enchanting son, Whom universal Nature did lament, When, by the rout that made the hideous roar, His gory visage down the stream was sent, Down the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shore ?

Alas! what boots it with incessant care To tend the homely, slighted shepherd's trade, And strictly meditate the thankless Muse? Were it not better done, as others use, To sport with Amaryllis in the shade, Or with the tangles of Neæra's hair? Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise (That last infirmity of noble mind) To scorn delights and live laborious days; But the fair guerdon when we hope to find, And think to burst out into sudden blaze, Comes the blind Fury with the abhorred shears, And slits the thin-spun life. “But not the praise,” Phæbus replied, and touch'd my trembling ears; “Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil, Nor in the glistering foil Set off to the world, nor in broad rumour lies: But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes, And perfect witness of all-judging Jove; As he pronounces lastly on each deed, Of so much fame in heaven.expect thy mead.” Oh fountain Arethuse, and thou honour'd flood, Smooth-sliding Mincius, crown'd with vocal reeds! That strain I heard was of a higher mood : But now my oat proceeds, And listens to the herald of the sea That came in Neptune's plea ;

He ask'd the waves, and ask'd the felon winds,
What hard mishap hath doom'd this gentle swain?
And question'd every gust of rugged wings
That blows from off each beaked promontory:
They knew not of his story;
And sage Hippotades their answer brings,
That not a blast was from his dungeon stray'd;
The air was calm, and on the level brine
Sleek Panope with all her sisters play'd.
It was that fatal and perfidious bark,
Built in the eclipse, and rigg'd with curses dark,
That sunk so low that sacred head of thine.

Next Camus, reverend sire, went footing slow,
His mantle hairy, and his bonnet sedge,
Inwrought with figures dim, and on the edge
Like to that sanguine flower inscribed with wo.
“Ah! who hath reft;" quoth he,“my dearest pledge ?"
Last came, and last did go,
The pilot of the Galilean lake;
Two massy keys he bore of metals twain
(The golden opes, the iron shuts amain),
He shook his mitred locks and stern bespake:
“How well could I have spared for thee, young swain,
Enow of such, as for their bellies' sake
Creep, and intrude, and climb into the fold?
Of other care they little reckoning make,
Than how to scramble at the shearers' feast,
And shove away the worthy bidden guest; [hold
Blind mouths! that scarce themselves know how to
A sheep-hook, or have learn'd aught else the least
That to the faithful herdsman's art belongs ! (sped ;
What recks it them? What need they? They are
And, when they list, their lean and flashy songs
Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw;
The hungry sheep look on, and are not fed,
But, swoln with wind and the rank mist they draw,
Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread;
Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw
Daily devours apace, and nothing fed:

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