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Then smile on me, and I will prove Wonder is shorter liv'd than love.
TO A LADY IN RETIREMENT. SEEs not my love how time resumes The glory which he lent these flow'rs; Though none should taste of their perfumes, Yet must they live but some few hours. Time what we forbear devours !
If less splendor wait on thine,
Amoret! as sweet and good
Sacharissa's beauty's wine,
Scarce can I to heav'n excuse
MILTON-A. D. 1608-74.
HENCE, loathed Melancholy,
Of Cerberus and blackest Midnight born, In Stygian cave forlorn, 'Mongst horrid shapes, and shrieks, and sights un.
holy, Find out some uncouth cell,
Where brooding Darkness spreads his jealous wings, And the night-raven sings;
There under ebon shades and low brow'd rocks,
In dark Cimerian desart ever dwell.
From the side of some hoar hill,
And crop full out of doors he flings, Ere the first cock his matin rings. Thus done the tales, to bed they creep, By whisp'ring winds soon lull'd asleep. Towered cities please us then, And the busy hum of men, Where throngs of knights and barons bold In weeds of peace high triumphs hold, With store of ladies, whose bright eyes Rain influence, and judge the prize Of wit, or arms, while both contend To win her grace, whom all commend. There let Hymen oft appear In saffron robe, with taper clear, And Pomp, and Feast, and Revelry, With Mask and antique Pageantry, Such sights as youthful poets dream, On summer eves by haunted stream. Then to the well-trod stage anon, If Jonson's learned sock be on, Or sweetest Shakespear, Fancy's child, Warble his native wood-notes wild. And ever against eating cares, Lap me in soft Lydian airs, Married to immortal verse, Such as the meeting soul may pierce In notes with many a winding bout Of linked sweetness long drawn out, With wanton heed, and giddy cunning, The melting voice through mazes running, Untwisting all the chains, that tie The hidden soul of harmony; That Orpheus' self may heave his head From golden slumber on a bed Of heap'd Elysian flow'rs, and hear Such strains as would have won the car Of Pluto, to have quite set free His half regain'd Eurydice. These delights, if thou canst give, Mirth, with thee I mean to live.
The sea-nymphs, and their pow'rs offended :
HENCE, vain deluding Joys,
The brood of Folly without father bred, How little you bested,
Or fill the fixed mind with all your toys ? Dwell in some idle brain,
And fancies fond with gaudy shapes possess, As thick and numberless
As the gay motes that people the sunbeams, Or likest hovering dreams,
The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train.
Sent by some spirit to mortals good,
Where I may oft out-watch the Bear, With thrice great Hermes, or unsphere The spirit of Plato to unfold What worlds, or what vast regions hold The immortal mind that hath forsook Her mansion in this fleshly nook : And of those demons that are found In fire, air, flood, or under ground, Whose power hath a true consent With planet, or with element. Sometime let gorgeous Tragedy In scepter'd pall come sweeping by, Presenting Thebes' or.Pelops' line, Or the tale of Troy divine, Or what (though rare) of later age Ennobled hath the buskin'd stage. But, O sad Virgin, that thy power Might raise Musæus from his bower, Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing Such notes, as warbled to the string, Drew iron tears down Pluto's cheek, And made Hell grant what Love did scek. Or call up him that left half told The story of Cambuscan bold, Of Camball, and of Algarsife, And who had Canace to wife, That own'd the virtuous ring and glass, And of the wondrous horse of brass, On which the Tartar king did ride; And if aught else great bards beside In sage and solemn tunes have sung, Of tourneys and of trophies hung, Of forests and inchantments 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 flounced as she was wont With the Attic boy to hunt, But kerchief'd in a comely cloud, While rocking winds are piping loud, Or ushe'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 Aling 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, With such concert as they keep, Entice the dewy-feather'd sleep : And let some strange mysterious dream Wave at his wings in airy stream Of lively portraiture display'd, Softly on my eyelids laid. And as I wake, sweet music breathe Above, about, or underneath,
Yet once more, O ye laurels, and once more
Begin then, Sisters of the Sacred Well,
Together both, ere the high lawns appear'd
But O the heavy change, now thou art gone, Next Camus, reverend sire, went footing slow, Now thou art gone, and never must return!
His mantle hairy, and his bonnet sedge, Thee, Shepherd, thee the woods and desart caves Inwrought with figures dim, and on the edge With wild thyme and the gadding vine o'ergrown, Like to that sanguine flower, inscrib'd with woc. And all their echoes mourn.
Ah! who hath reft (quoth he) my dearest pledge ? The willows and the hazel copses green,
Last came, and last did go, Shall now no more be seen,
The pilot of the Galilean lake, Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays.
Two massy keys he bore of metals twain, As killing as the canker to the rose,
(The golden opes, the iron shuts amain) Or taint-worm to the weanling herds that graze, He shook his mitred locks, and stern bespake, Or frost to flowers, that their gay wardrobe wear,
How well could I have spar'd for thee, young swain, When first the white-thorn blows;
Enow of such as for their bellies' sake Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherd's ear.
Creep, and intrude, and climb into the fold ? Where were ye, Nymphs, when the remorseléss deep Of other care they little reck’ning make, Clos'd o'er the head of your lov'd Lycidas ?
Than how to scramble at the shearer's feast, For neither were ye playing on the steep,
And shove away the worthy bidden guest ; (hold Where your old bards, the famous Druids, lie, Blind mouths! that scarce themselves know how to 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 ! Ay me! I fondly dream
What recks it them ? what need they? they are sped; Had you been there; for what could that have 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,
But swoll'n with wind, and the rank mist they draw, When by the rout that made the hideous roar, Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread ; His goary visage down the stream was sent,
Besides what the grim wolf, with privy paw, Down the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shore? Daily devours apace; and nothing said, Alas! what boots it with incessant care
But that two-handed engine at the door, To tend the homely slighted shepherd's trade, Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more. And strictly meditate the thankless Muse ?
Return, Alpheus, the dread voice is past W'ere it not better done, as others use,
That shrunk thy streams; return, Sicilian Muse, To sport with Amaryllis in the shade,
And call the vales, and bid them hither cast Or with the tangles of Neæra's hair ?
Their bells, and flow'rets of a thousand hues. Fame is the spur that the clear sp’rit doth raise Ye valleys low, where the mild whispers use (That last infirmity of noble mind)
Of shades, and wanton winds, and gushing brooks, To scorn delights, and live laborious days;
On whose fresh lap the swart star rarely looks, But the fair guerdon when we hope to find,
Throw hither all your quaint enamell’d eyes, And think to burst out into sudden blaze,
That on the green turf suck the honied showers, Comes the blind Fury with th' abhorred shears, And purple all the ground with vernal flowers. And slits the thin-spun life. But not the praise, Bring the rathe primrose that forsaken dies, Phæbus reply'd, and touch'd my trembling ears ; The tufted crow-toe, and pale jessamine, Fame is no plant that grows in mortal soil,
The white pink, and the pansy freakt with jet, Nor in the glist'ring foil
The glowing violet, Set off to th’ world, nor in broad rumour lies, The musk-rose, and the well-attir'd woodbine, But lives, and spreads aloft by those pure eyes, With cowslips wan, that hang the pensive head, And perfect witness of all-judging Jove;
And every flower that sad embroidery wears :
Bid Amaranthus all his beauty shed,
O fountain Arethuse, and thou honour'd flood, To strow the laureat herse where Lycid lies.
Let our frail thoughts dally with false surmise. But now my oat proceeds,
Ay me! whilst thee the shores and sounding seas And listens to the herald of the sea
Wash far away, where'er thy bones are hurl d, That came in Neptune's plea;
Whether beyond the stormy Hebrides, He ask'd the waves, and ask'd the felon winds, Where thou perhaps, under the whelming tide, What hard mishap hath doom'd this gentle swain ? Visit'st the bottom of the monstrous world ; And question'd every gust of rugged winds Or whether thou to our moist vows deny'd, That blows from off each beak'd promontory; Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old, They knew not of his story,
Where the great vision of the guarded mount And sage Hippotades their answer brings,
Looks tow'rd Namancos and Bayona's hold ; That not a blast was from his dungeon stray'd ; Look homeward, angel, now, and melt with ruth: The air was calm, and on the level brine
And, O ye dolphins, waft the hapless youth. Sleek Panope with all her sisters play'd.
Weep no more, woful shepherds, weep no more ; It was that fatal and perfidious bark
For Lycidas your sorrow is not dead, Built in th' eclipse, and rigg'd with curses dark, Sunk tho' he be beneath the wat'ry floor ; That sunk so low that sacred head of thine.
So sinks the day-star in the ocean bed,