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Happy, if in the tufted brake
The Caledonian deer.
But Thou, the War's and Fortune's son,
March indefatigably on;
And for the last effect
Still keep the sword erect:
Besides the force it has to fright
The spirits of the shady night,
The same arts that did gain
In this Monody the Author bewails a learned Friend, unfortunately drowned in his passage from Chester on the Irish Seas, 1637; and, by occasion, foretells the ruin of our corrupted Clergy, then in their height.
YET once more, O ye laurels, and once more,
I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude,
Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year.
He must not float upon his watery bier
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 bid fair peace be to my sable shroud !
For we were nursed upon the self-same hill,
Toward heaven's descent had sloped his westering wheel.
Rough Satyrs danced, and Fauns with cloven heel
But, oh! the heavy change, now thou art gone,
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,
When first the white-thorn blows;
Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherd's ear.
Where were ye, Nymphs, when the remorseless deep 50 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.
"Had ye been there," for what could that have done?
When, by the rout that made the hideous roar,
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,
And slits the thin-spun life. "But not the praise,"
Nor in the glistering foil
Set off to the world, nor in broad rumour lies,
But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes
Of so much fame in heaven expect thy meed."
And listens to the herald of the sea,
That came in Neptune's plea.
He asked the waves, and asked the felon winds,
What hard mishap hath doomed this gentle swain?
They knew not of his story;
And sage Hippotadès their answer brings,
That not a blast was from his dungeon strayed:
The air was calm, and on the level brine
Sleek Panope with all her sisters played.
Built in the eclipse, and rigged with curses dark,
Next, Camus, reverend sire, went footing slow, His mantle hairy, and his bonnet sedge,
Inwrought with figures dim, and on the edge
"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.
Blind mouths! that scarce themselves know how to hold