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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,
Yet they so benignly shine,
I would turn my dazzled sight
To behold their milder light:
But as hard 'tis to destroy
That high flame as to enjoy ;
Which how eas'ly I may do,
Heav'n (as eas'ly scald) does know!

Amoret! as sweet and good
As the most delicious food,
Which but tasted does impart
Life and gladness to the heart.

Sacharissa's beauty's wine,
Which to madness doth incline;
Such a liquor as no brain
That is mortal can sustain.

Scarce can I to heav'n excuse
The devotion which I use
Unto that adored dame;
For 'tis not unlike the same
Which I thither ought to send;
So that if it could take end,
"Twould to Heav'n itself be due,
To succeed her and not you ;
Who already have of me
All that's not idolatry ;
Which, though not so fierce a flame,
Is longer like to be the same.

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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,
As ragged as thy locks,

In dark Cimerian desart ever dwell.
But come, thou Goddess, fair and free,
In Heav'n yclep'd Euphrosyne,
And by men, heart-easing Mirth,
Whom lovely Venus at a birth
With two sister Graces more
To ivy-crowned Bacchus bore ;
Or whether (as some sages sing)
The frolie wind that breathes the spring,
Zephyr with Aurora playing,
As he met her once a-maying,
There on beds of violets blue,
And fresh-blown roses wash'd in dew,
Fill'd her with thee a daughter fair,
So buxom, blithe, and debonair.
Haste thee, Nymph, and bring with thee
Jest and youthful Jollity,
Quips and cranks, and wanton wiles,
Nods and becks, and wreathed smiles,
Such as hang on Hebe's cheek,
And love to live in dimple sleek ;
Sport that wrinkled Care derides,
And Laughter holding both his sides.
Come, and trip it as you go
On the light fantastic toe;
And in thy right hand lead with thee,
The mountain-nymph, sweet Liberty ;
And if I give thee honour due,
Mirth, admit me of thy crew,
To live with her, and live with thee,
In unreproved pleasures free ;
To hear the lark begin his flight,
And singing startle the dull night,
From his watch-tower in the skies,
Till the dappled dawn doth rise ;
Then to come in spite of sorrow,
And at my window bid good-morrow,
Through the sweetbriar, or the vine,
Of the twisted eglantine:
While the cock with lively din
Scatters the rear of darkness thin,
And to the stack, or the barn-door,
Stoutly struts his dames before ;
Oft list'ning how the hounds and horn
Cheerly rouse the slumboring morn,

From the side of some hoar hill,
Through the high wood echoing shrill :
Some time walking not unseen
By hedge-row elms, on hillocks green,
Right against the eastern gate,
Where the great Sun begins his state,
Rob'd in flames, and amber light,
The clouds in thousand liveries dight,
While the plowman near at hand
Whistles o'er the furrow'd land,
And the milkmaid singeth blithe,
And the mower whets his scythe,
And every shepherd tells his tale
Under the hawthorn in the dale.
Strait mine eye hath caught new pleasures,
Whilst the landskip round it measures ;
Russet lawns, and fallows gray,
Where the nibbling flocks do stray,
Mountains on whose barren breast
The lab'ring clouds do often rest ;
Meadows trim with daisies pied,
Shallow brooks and rivers wide.
Towers and battlements it sees
Bosom’d high in tufted trees,
Where perhaps some beauty lies,
The Cynosure of neighb’ring eyes.
Hard by a cottage chimney smokes,
From betwixt two aged oaks,
Where Corydon and Thyrsis met,
Are at their savory dinner set
Of herbs, and other country messes,
Which the neat-handed Phyllis dresses ;
And then in haste her bower she leaves,
With Thestylis to bind the sheaves;
Or if the earlier season lead
To the tann'd haycock in the mead.
Sometimes with secure delight
The upland hamlets will invite,
When the merry bells ring round,
And the jocund rebecks sound
To many a youth, and many a maid,

Pncing in the chequer'd shade ;
And young and old come forth to play
On a sunshine holyday,
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 pull’d, she said,
And he by friar's lantern led ;
Tells how the drudging goblin sweat,
To earn his cream-bowl duly set,
When in one night, ere glimpse of morn,
His shadowy flail hath thresh'd the corn
That ten day-lab’rers could not end ;
Then lies him down the lubbar fiend,
And stretch'd out all the chimney's length,
Basks at the tire his hairy strength,

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 :
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 bowers and glades
He met her, and in secret shades
Of woody Ida's inmost grove,
While yet there was no fear of Jovc.
Come pensive nun, devout and pure,
Sober, stedfast, and demure,
All in a robe of darkest grain,
Following 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 held 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 hears the Muses in a ring,
Ay 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 oak;
Sweet bird that shunn'st the noise of folly,
Most musical, most melancholy !
Thee chauntress oft the woods among
I woo to hear thy evening-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 Heav'n's wide pathless way;
And oft, 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,
Far from all resort of mirth,
Save the cricket on the hearth,
Or the bellman's drowsy charm,
To bless the doors from nightly harm.
Or let my lamp at midnight hour,
Be seen in some high lonely tow'r,


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.
But hail, thou Goddess, sage and holy,
Hail divinest 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 besecin,
Or that starr'd Ethiop queen that strove
To set her beauty's praise above

Sent by some spirit to mortals good,
Or th' unseen Genius of the wood.
But let my due feet never fail
To walk the studious cloisters pale,
And love the high embowed roof,
With antic pillars massy proof,
And storied windows richly dight,
Casting a dim religious light.
There let the pealing organ blow
To the full voic'd quire below
In service high, and anthems clear,
As may with sweetness, through mine ear,
Dissolve me into ecstasies,
And bring all Heav'n before mine eyes.
And may at last my weary age
Find out the peaceful hermitage,
The hairy gown and mossy cell,
Where I may sit and rightly spell
Of every star that Heay'n doth shew,
And every herb that sips the dew;
Till old Experience do attain
To something like prophetic strain.
These pleasures, Melancholy, give,
And I with thee will choose to live.


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
Ye myrtles brown, with ivy never sear,
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 me 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 sing, and build the lofty rhyme.
He must not float upon his wat'ry bier
Unwept, and welter to the parching wind,
Without the meed of some melodious tear.

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 destin'd urn,
And as he passes turn,
And bid fair peace be to my sable shroud :
For we were nurs'd upon the self-same hill,
Fed the same flock, by fountain, shade, and rill.

Together both, ere the high lawns appear'd
Under the opening eye-lids of the morn,
We drove a-field, and both together heard
What time the grey-fly winds her sultry horn,
Batt’ning our flocks with the fresh dews of night
Oft till the star that rose at evening bright,
Tow'rds Heav'n's descent had slop'd his west'ring

Meanwhile the rural ditties were not mute,
Temper'd to th’oaten flute ;
Rough Satyrs danc'd, and Fauns with cloven heel
From the glad sound would not be absent long,
And old Damætas lov'd to hear our song.

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 :
As he pronounces lastly on cach deed,

Bid Amaranthus all his beauty shed,
Of so much fame in Heav'n expect thy meed. And daffodillies fill their cups with tears,

O fountain Arethuse, and thou honour'd flood, To strow the laureat herse where Lycid lies.
Smooth sliding Mincius, crown'd with vocal reeds, For so to interpose a little ease,
That strain I heard was of a higher mood :

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,

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