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And young and old come forth to play
On a sunshine holy-day,
Till the live-long daylight fail;
Then to the spicy nut-brown ale,
With stories told of many a feat,
How fairy Mab the junkets eat,
She was pinch’d, and pulld, she said,
And he by friar's lanthorn led;
Tells how the drudging goblin sweat,
To earn his cream-bowl duly set,
When in one night, ere glimpse of morn,
His shadowy fail has thrash'd the corn
That ten day-lab'rers could not end;
Then lies him down the lubber fiend,
And stretch'd out all the chimney's length,
Basks at the fire his hairy strength,
And, crop-full, out of doors he flings,
Ere the first cock his matin rings.
Thas 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 bola
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, aud feast, and revelry,
With mask, and antique pageantry;
Such sights as youthful poets drean.
On summer eves by haunted stream.
Then to the well-trod stage anon,
If Jonson's learued sock be on,
Or sweetest Shakespeare, 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 flowers, and hear
Such strains as would have won the ear
Of Pluto, to have quite set free
llis half-regain'd Eurydice.
These delights if thou canst give,
Mirth, with thee I mean to live.
Hence, vain deluding joy's,
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 faucies fond with gaudy shapes possess,
As thick and numberless
As the gay motes that people the sunbeams,
Or likeliest hovering dreams
The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train.
But hail, thou goddess, sage and holy !
Hail, diviest 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 beauties 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 bow'rs and glades He met her, and in secret shades Of woody Ida's inmost grove, While yet there was no fear of Jove. Come, pensive nun, devote 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 led 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 hear 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 th' accustom'd cak;
Sweet bird, that shunn'st the noise of folly.
Most musical, most melancholy!
Thee, chantress, oft the woods anong,
I woo to hear thy even-song;
And missing thee, I walk unseen
On the dry smooth-shaven green,
To behold the wand'ring moon
Riding near her highest noon,
Like one that had been led astray
Through the heaven's wide pathless way,
And ost, as if her head she bow'd,
Stooping through a fleecy cloud;
Oft on a plat of rising ground
I hear the far-off curfew sound,
Over some wide water'd shore,
Swinging slow with sullen roar:
Or, if the air will not permit,
Some still removed place will fit,
Where glowing embers through the room
Teach light to counterfeit a gloom,