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Mortals that would follow me, Love Virtue, she alone is free, She can teach


how to climb
Higher than the sphery chime;
Or if Virtue feeble were,
Heav'n itself would stoop to her.



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,
I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude,
And with forc'd fingers rude
Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year.
Bitter constraint, and sad occasion dear,
Compels nite 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 fing, and build the lofty rhyme.
He must not flote upon his watry bier
Unwept, and welter to the parching wind,
Without the meed of some melodious tear.
Begin then, Sisters of the facred well,

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,
So may some gentle Muse
With lucky words favor my


And as he passes turn,
And bid fair peace be to my fable shroud.
For we were nurst upon the self-fame hill,
Fed the same flock by fountain, shade, and rill.

Together both, ere the high lawns appear'd 25
Under the opening eye-lids 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,

30 Toward Heav'n's descent had llop'd his westering

Mean while the rural ditties were not mute,
Temper'd to the oaten flute,
Rough Satyrs danc’d, and Fauns with cloven heel
From the glad found would not be absent long,

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,
When first the white-thorn blows;
Such, Lycidas, thy loss to fhepherds' ear.

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?
What could the Muse herself that Orpheus bore,
The Muse herself for her inchanting son,
Whom universal nature did lament,

When by the rout that made the hideous roar,
His goary 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 flighted 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 spi'rit doth raise 7 (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 th' abhorred shears, 7.5 And flits the thin-spun life. But not the praise, Phoebus reply'd, and touch'd my trembling ears ; VOL. III.




Fame is no plant that grows on mortal foil,
Nor in the glistering foil
Set off to th' world, nor in broad rumor 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 Heav’n expect thy meed.

O fountain Arethuse, and thou honor'd flood, 85
Smooth-Niding 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;

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,



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