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Mortals that would follow me, Love Virtue, she alone is free, She can teach
how to climb
XVII. L Y CI DA S. In this monody the author bewails a learned friend *,
unfortunately drown'd in his passage from Chester on the Irish feas, 1637, and by occasion foretels the ruin of our corrupted clergy, then in their highth.
ET once more, O ye Laurels, and once more
Ye Myrtles brown, with Ivy never sere,
15 That from beneath the seat of Jove doth spring, Begin, and somewhat loudly sweep the string.
* Mr. Edward King, son of Sir John King Secretary for Ireland, a fellow-collegian and intimate friend of our author.
Hence with denial vain, and coy excuse,
Together both, ere the high lawns appear'd 25
30 Toward Heav'n's descent had llop'd his westering
35 And old Damætas loy'd to hear our song.
But O 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, 4e 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,
45 Or taint-worm to the weanling herds that graze,
Or frost to flowers, that their gay wardrobe wear,
Where were ye, Nymphs, when the remorseless deep Clos'd o'er the head of
loy'd Lycidas? For neither were ye playing on the steep, Where
old Bards, the famous Druids, lie, Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high, Nor yet where Deva spreads her wisard stream: 55 Ay me! I fondly dream Had
been there, for what could that have done?
Alas! what boots it with incessant care
Fame is no plant that grows on mortal foil,
O fountain Arethuse, and thou honor'd flood, 85
90 He ask'd the waves, and ask'd the fellon winds, What hard mishap hath doom'd this gentle swain? And question'd every gust of rugged winds That blows from off each beaked promontory; They knew not of his story,
95 And fage 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 fifters play'd. It was that fatal and perfidious bark Built in th' eclipse, and rigg’d with curses dark, That funk so low that facred head of thine.
Next Camus, reverend fire, went footing low, His mantle hairy, and his bonnet fedge, Inwrought with figures dim, and on the edge 1ος Like to that sanguin flower infcrib’d with woe. Ah! who hath reft (quoth he) my dearest pledge ? Last came, and last did go,