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Thou must have learnt when wandering all And monumental caves of death look cold, And shoot a chilness to my trembling heart.
Each bird, each insect, flitting thro' the sky,
Was more sufficient for itself than thou.
§ 89. Description of a Triumph.
HE comes, and with a port so proud,
As if he had subdu'd the spacious
Act with cool prudence, and with And all Sinope's streets are fill'd with such
A glut of people, you would think some go
Had conquer'd in their cause, and them t
As well as manly firmness.
'Tis godlike magnanimity to keep,
When most provok'd, our reason calm and
And execute her will, from a strong sense
Of what is right, without the vulgar aid
That he might make his entrance on their bes While from the scaffolds, windows, topshouses,
Of heat and passion, which, tho' honest, bear us Are cast such gaudy show'rs of garlands down, Often too far.
§ 86. Description of Ships appearing at a Dis-
tance, and approaching the Shore. DRYDEN.
Guiom. As s far as I could cast my eyes
Upon the sea, something, me-
thought, did rise
Like blueish mists, which still appearing more,
Took dreadful shapes, and thus mov'd tow'rds
The object I could first distinctly view,
Was tall, straight trees, which on the water
Wings on their sides instead of leaves did grow,
Which gathered all the breath the winds could
That ev'n the crowd appear like conquerors,
And the whole city seems like one vast mead
Set all with flow'rs, as a clear heaven with stars
Nay, as I have heard, ere he the city enter',
Your subjects lin'd the way for many furlergy;
The very trees bore men: and as our God,
When from the portal of the east be dawns,
Beholds a thousand birds upon the boughs,
To welcome him with all their warbling threat
And prune their feathers in his golden beams;
So did your subjects, in their gaudy trim,
Upon the pendant brauches speak his praise.
Mothers, who cover'd all the banks beneath,
Did rob the crying infants of the breast,
Pointing Ziphares out, to make them smile; [
And climbing boys stood on their fathers' sho
Answering their shouting sires with te
And at their roots grew floating palaces,
Whose out-blow'd bellies cut the yielding seas.
Montezuma. What divine monsters, O ye To make the concert up of general joy.
"That float in air, and fly upon the seas? Came they alive, or dead, upon the shore?
Guiom. Alas! they liv'd' too sure: I heard TH' unbusied shepherd, stretch'd beneath ir
All turn'd their sides, and to each other spoke:
I saw their words break out in fire and smoke.
Sure 'tis their voice that thunders from on high,
And these the younger brothers of the sky:
Deaf with the noise, I took my hasty flight;
No mortal courage can support the fright.
§87. Virtue preferable to Rank. Rowe. WHAT tho' no gaudy titles grace my birth;
Titles, the servile courtier's lean reward!
Sometimes the pay of virtue, but more oft
The hire which greatness gives to slaves and sy-Tho' the ungrateful subjects of their favour
[more Are barren in return. Virtue does still
With scorn the mercenary world regard,
Where abject souls do good, and hope rewar
Above the worthless trophies man can raise,
She seeks not honour, wealth, nor airy praise, |
But with herself, herself the goddess pays.
Yet Heaven, that made me honest, made me
Than e'er a king did when he made a lord.
§ 88. Description of an ancient Cathedral.
How rev'rend is the face of this tall § 92. No Difficulties insuperable to the Prair
Whose ancient pillars rear their marble heads,
To bear aloft its arch'd and ponderous roof, THE
By its own weight made stedfast and immove-
Looking tranquillity; it strikes an awe [able!
And terror to iny aching sight! The tombs
HE wise and active conquer difficulties
By daring to attempt them: sloth and y
Shiver and shrink at sight of toil and hazard,
And make th' impossibility they fear.
DES, Sonnets, Classical Songs, Ancient and Modern Ballads, Comic Tales, Epigrams, Epitaphs, various amusing little Poems, Prologues, and Epilogues.
§1. L'ALLEGRO. MILTON. ENCE, loathed Melancholy,
Of Cerberus and blackest Midnight born,
In Stygian cave forlorn,
ongst horrid shapes, and shrieks, and sights
Find out some uncouth cell,
here brooding darkness spreads his jealous
d the night-raven sings;
ere, under ebon shades, and low-brow'd rocks,
ragged as thy locks,
n dark Cimmerian desert ever dwell. t come, thou Goddess fair and free, heaven yclep'd Euphrosyne, d by men heart-easing Mirth, som lovely Venus at a birth, ith two sister Graces more, ivy-crowned Bacchus bore; whether (as some sages sing) e frolic wind that breathes the spring, hyr, with Aurora playing, he met her once a-Maying, ere on beds of violets blue,
d fresh-blown roses wash'd in dew, I'd her with thee, a daughter fair, buxom, blithe, and debonair; ste thee, nymph, and bring with thee -t and youthful Jollity,
ips, and cranks, and wanton wiles, ods, and becks, and wreathed smiles, ch as hang on Hebe's cheek,
d love to live in dimple sleek ; ort, that wrinkled care derides, d 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 the honour due,
Mirth, admit me of thy crew,
To live with her, and live with thee,
To hear the lark begin his flight,
In unreproved pleasures free;
From his watch-tow'r in the skies,
And singing, startle the dull night,
Till the dapple dawn doth rise;
Then to come, in spite of sorrow,
And at my window bid good-morrow,
Through the sweet-brier or the vine,
Or 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 slumb`ring morn,
From the side of some hoar hill,
Through the high wood echoing shrill:
Some time walking, not unseen,
By hedgerow 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 ploughman near at hand
Whistles o'er the furrow'd land,
And the milk-maid singeth blithe,
And the mower whets his scythe,
And ev'ry shepherd tells his tale Under the hawthorn in the dale. Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures Whilst the landscape round it measures; Russet lawns, and fallows grey, 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. Tow'rs 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 savoury dinner set Of herbs, and other country messes, Which the neat-handed Phillis dresses; And then in haste her bow'r 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, Dancing in the chequer'd shade; And young and old come forth to play On a sunshine holy-day, Till the live-long day-light 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 by the fryer's lanthorn led; Tells how the drudging gobling 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 hím 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 mattin rings. Thus done the tales, to bed they creep. By whisp'ring winds soon lull'd asleep. Tow'red 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 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 flow'rs, and hear
Such strains as would have won the ear
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.
§ 2. IL PENSEROSO. MILTON. 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 possese,
As thick and numberless
As the gay motes that people the sun-beams, 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 beseem;
Or that starr'd Ethiop queen that strove
To set her beauty's 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 bowers 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, devout 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, 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 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 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 curfeu sound
Over some wide water'd shore,
Swinging slow with sullen roar;
Or, if the air will not permit,
Some still removed place will sit,
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,
Where I may 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 fleshy 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 sceptred pall come sweeping by,
Presenting Thebes' or Pelops' line,
Or else the tale of Troy divine,
Or what (though rare) of later age
Ennobled hath the buskin'd stage
But, O sad Virgin, that thy pow'r
Might raise Museus from his bow'r,
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 Cambusean bold,
Of Camball, and of Algarsife,
And who had Canacé 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
sage and solemn tunes have sung,
Of turneys and of trophies hung,
Of forests, and enchantinents drear,
Where more is meant than meets the ear.
Thus, night, oft see me in thy pale career,
Till silver-suited morn appear,
Not trickt and frounc'd as she was wont
With the Attic boy to hunt,
But kercheft in a comely cloud,
While rocking winds are piping loud,
Or usher'd with a show'r 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 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 ax 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 flow'ry 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 an airy stream
Of lively portraiture display'd
Softly on my eye-lids laid.'
And, as I wake, sweet music breathe
Above, about, or underneath,
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 antique 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 ecstacies,
And bring all leaven 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 ev'ry star that heaven doth shew,
And ev'ry 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.
§ 3. LYCIDAS. MILTON. YET once more, Oye 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 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 rhime. 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 she passes, turn,
And bid fair peace be to my sable shroud.
For we were nurst 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 afield, 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'rd heaven's descent had slop'd his west'ring
Meanwhile the rural ditties were not mute,
Temper'd to the oaten flute;
Rough Satyrs danc'd, and Fauns with cloven heel
From the glad sound would not be absent long,
And old Damætis lov'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 thy meand the gadding vine o'ergrown, 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,
Or taint-worm to the weaning herds that graze;
Or frost to flow'rs, that their gay wardrobe wear,
When first the white-thorn blows;
Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherds' ear.
Where were ye, Nymphs, when the remorseless Clos'd o'er the head of your lov'd Lycidas? [deep For neither were ye playing on the steep, Where your old Bards, the famous Druids, lie, Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high, Nor yet where Deva spreads her wisard stream: Ah me, I fondly dream! [done! Had ye been there for what could that bare What could the Muse herself that Orpheus bare, The Muse herself for her enchanting son, Whom universal nature did lament, When by the rout that made the hideous roar, His gory 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, slighted shepherd's trade,
And strictly meditate the thankle's 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 spirit doth raise
(That last infirinity of noble minds)
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,
And slits the thin-spun life. But not the praise.
Phoebus replied, and touch'd my trembling ears;
Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil,
Nor in the glist'ring foil,
Set off to the world; nor in broad rumour 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 heaven expect thy meed.
O fountain Arethuse, and thou honour'd fled Smooth-sliding Mincius, crown'd with ve That strain I heard was of a higher mood: [rects But now my oat proceeds,
And listens to the herald of the sea
That came in Neptune's plea ;
He ask'd the waves, and ask'd the felon winds,
What hard mishaphath doom'd this gentleswain
And question'd ev'ry gust of rugged winds
That blows from off each beaked promontory,
They knew not of his story,
And sage Hippodates their answer brings,
That not a blast was from his dungeon stray,
The air was calm, and on the level brine
Sleek Panope with all her sisters play'd.
It was that fatal and perfidious bark
Built in th' eclipse, and rigg'd with curses dark,
That sunk so low that sacred head of thine.
Next Camus, reverend sire! went footing slow,
His mantle hairy, and his bonnet sedge,
Inwrought with figures dim, and on the edg
Like to that sanguine flow'r inscrib'd with wee
Ah! who lath reft (quoth he) my dearest pledge!
Last came, and last did go,
The pilot of the Galilean lake;
Two massy keys he bore of metals twain,
(The golden opes, the iron shuts amain)
He shook his mitred locks, and stern bespake,
How well could I have spar'd for thee, yong