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Untwisting all the chains that tie
The hidden soul of harmony;
And sable stole of cypress 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, 46
And hears the Muses in a ring
Aye round about Jove's altar sing;
And add to these retirèd Leisure,
That in trim gardens takes his pleasure; 50
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 Philomel3 will deign a song,
In her sweetest, saddest plight,
As thick and numberless
As the gay motes that people the sun- Smoothing the rugged brow of Night,
While Cynthia checks her dragon yoke
Gently o'er the accustomed oak.
Or likest hovering dreams,
The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' Sweet bird, that shunn'st the noise of 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 beseem,
Or that starred Ethiop queen that strove
To set her beauty's praise above
The sea nymphs', and their powers of
That Orpheus' self may heave his head 145
From golden slumber on a bed
Of heaped Elysian flowers, and hear
Such strains as would have won the ear
Of Pluto to have quite set free
His half-regained Eurydice.
These delights if thou canst give,
Mirth, with thee I mean to live.
Hence, vain deluding Joys,
The brood of Folly without father bred! How little you bested,1
Or fill the fixed mind with all your toys! Dwell in some idle brain,
And fancies fond 2 with gaudy shapes
Yet thou art higher far descended:
Thee bright-haired 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,
Whilst yet there was no fear of Jove.
Come, pensive Nun, devout and pure,
Sober, steadfast, and demure,
All in a robe of darkest grain,
Flowing with majestic train,
Most musical, most melancholy!
Thee, chauntress, oft the woods among,
I woo, to hear thy even-song;
And, missing thee, I walk unseen
On the dry smooth-shaven green,
To behold the wandering moon
Riding near her highest noon,
Like one that had been led astray
Through the heaven's wide pathless way,
And oft, as if her head she bowed,
Stooping through a fleecy cloud.
Oft, on a plat of rising ground,
I hear the far-off curfew sound
Over some wide-watered 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 tower
There in close covert by some brook,
Where no profaner eye may look,
Hide me from day's garish eye,
While the bee, with honeyed thigh,
That at her flowery work doth sing,
And the waters murmuring,
With such consort as they keep,
Entice the dewy-feathered Sleep;
And let some strange mysterious dream
Wave at his wings in airy stream
Of lively portraiture displayed,
Softly on my eyelids laid;
Where I may oft outwatch the Bear
With thrice-great Hermes, or unsphere
The spirit of Plato, to unfold
What worlds or what vast regions hold 90
The immortal mind that hath forsook
Her mansion in this fleshly nook;
And of those demons that are found
In fire, air, flood, or underground,
Whose power hath a true consent,
With planet or with element.
Sometime let gorgeous Tragedy
In sceptered 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 buskined 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 seek;
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 owned the virtuous1 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 enchantments drear,
Where more is meant than meets the And every herb that sips the dew,
Till old experience do attain
To something like prophetic strain.
These pleasures, Melancholy, give, 175
And I with thee will choose to live.
And, as I wake, sweet music breathe
Above, about, or underneath,
Sent by some spirit to mortals good,
Or the unseen Genius of the wood.
But let my due feet never fail
To walk the studious cloister's pale,3
And love the high embowèd roof,
With antique pillars massy proof,
And storied windows richly dight,4
Casting a dim religious light.
There let the pealing organ blow
To the full-voiced quire below
In service high and anthems clear
As may with sweetness, through mine ear,
Dissolve me into ecstasies,
And bring all Heaven 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 spell5
Of every star that heaven doth shew,
Thus, Night, oft see me in thy pale career,
Till civil-suited Morn appear,
Not tricked and frounced as she was wont
With the Attic boy to hunt,
But kerchieft in a comely cloud,
While rocking winds are piping loud;
Or ushered with a shower still,
When the gust hath blown his fill,
Ending on the rustling leaves,
With minute-drops from off the eaves. 130
And when the sun begins to fling
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 heavèd stroke
Was never heard the nymphs to daunt,
Or fright them from their hallowed haunt.
Shatter your leaves before the mellowing With wild thyme and the gadding vine year.
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
Who would not sing for Lycidas? he As killing as the canker to the rose, Or taint-worm to the weanling1 herds that graze,
Or frost to flowers, that their gay ward-
When first the white-thorn blows;
Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherd's ear.
Where were ye, Nymphs, when the re-
Closed o'er the head of your loved Lycidas?
For neither were ye playing on the steep
Where your old bards, the famous Druids,
Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high,
Nor yet where Deva spreads her wizard
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
Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhyme.
He must not float upon his watery bier
Unwept, and welter1 to the parching wind,
Without the meed2 of some melodious tear.
Begin then, Sisters of the sacred well 15 That from beneath the seat of Jove doth spring;
Begin, and somewhat loudly sweep the
Hence with denial vain and coy excuse;
So may some gentle Muse
With lucky words favor my destined urn,
And as he passes turn,
And bid fair peace be to my sable shroud.
For we were nursed upon the self-same
Fed the same flock, by fountain, shade,
Together both, ere the high lawns appeared
Under the opening eyelids of the morn,
We drove a-field, and both together heard
What time the grey-fly winds her sultry
Battening our flocks with the fresh dews
Oft till the star that rose at evening,
Toward heaven's descent had sloped his
Meanwhile the rural ditties were not mute,
Tempered to the oaten flute;
Rough Satyrs danced, and Fauns with
From the glad sound would not be absent
35 And old Damotas loved to hear our song.
But oh! the heavy change, now thou art gone, Now thou art gone, and never must return! Thee, Shepherd, thee the woods and desert caves,
Ay me, I fondly" dream!
Had ye been there for what could that have done?
What could the Muse herself that Orpheus
The Muse herself, for her enchanting son,
Whom universal nature did lament,
When by the rout that made the hideous
And slits the thin-spun life. “But not
Phoebus replied, and touched my trem-
"Fame is no plant that grows on mortal
Nor in the glistering foil
Set off to the world, nor in broad rumor lies;
But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes
Of other care they little reckoning make
Than how to scramble at the shearers'
And perfect witness of all-judging Jove;
As he pronounces lastly on each deed,
Of so much fame in heaven expect thy
And shove away the worthy bidden guest;
Blind mouths! that scarce themselves
know how to hold
O fountain Arethuse, and thou honored A sheep-hook, or have learnt aught else flood,
Smooth-sliding Mincius, crowned with
That came in Neptune's plea.
He asked the waves, and asked the felon1
What hard mishap hath doomed this
And questioned every gust of rugged
That blows from off each beaked promon-
They know not of his story;
And sage Hippotades their answer brings, That not a blast was from his dungeon strayed;
That strain I heard was of a higher mood: What recks it them? What need they?
But now my oat proceeds,
They are sped;3
And listens to the herald of the sea,
And when they list, their lean and flashy songs
Grate on their scrannel1 pipes of wretched straw;
The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed,
But swoln with wind and the rank mist they draw,
The air was calm, and on the level brine
Sleek Panope with all her sisters played.
It was that fatal and perfidious bark, 100
Built in the eclipse, and rigged with curses
Next Camus, reverend sire, went footing slow,
Two massy keys he bore of metals twain 110 (The golden opes, the iron shuts amain). He shook his mitred locks, and stern bespake:
"How well could I have spared for thee, young swain,
Enow of such as, for their bellies' sake Creep, and intrude, and climb into the fold!
His mantle hairy, and his bonnet sedge,
Inwrought with figures dim, and on the
Like to that sanguine flower inscribed with
"Ah! who hath reft," quoth he, "my
Last came, and last did go,
The pilot of the Galilean lake;
the least That to the faithful herdman's art belongs!
Return, Alpheus; the dread voice is
That shrunk thy streams; return, Sicilian
That sunk so low that sacred head of And call the vales, and bid them hither thine.
Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread; Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw
Daily devours apace, and nothing said.
But that two-handed engine at the door
Stands ready to smite once, and smite no
Their bells and flowerets of a thousand hues.
Ye valleys low, where the mild whispers use5
Of shades and wanton winds and gushing
On whose fresh lap the swart star sparely
Throw hither all your quaint enamelled
Henceforth thou art the Genius of the shore,
In thy large recompense, and shalt be good To all that wander in that perilous flood. Thus sang the uncouth' swain to the oaks and rills, 186 While the still morn went out with sandals grey;
He touched the tender stops of various quills,8
With eager thought warbling his Doric lay:
And now the sun had stretched out all the hills, And now was dropped into the western bay. At last he rose, and twitched his mantle blue:
To-morrow to fresh woods and pastures
14 lives to el!