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The fairness of her face no tongue can tell ;
For she the daughters of all women's race,
And angels eke, in beauty doth excel,
Sparkled on her from God's own glorious face,
And more increased by her own goodly grace,
That it doth far exceed all human thought,
Nor can on earth compared be to aught.
The Spirits Epilogue in Comus.
To the Ocean now I fly,
And those happy climes that lie
Where day never shuts his eye,
Up in the broad fields of the sky:
There I suck the liquid air
All amidst the gardens fair
Of Hesperus, and his daughters three,
That sing about the golden tree:
Along the crispéd shades and bowers
Revels the spruce and jocund Spring ;
The Graces, and the rosy-bosom'd Hours,
Thither all their bounties bring;
There eternal summer dwells,
And west-winds, with musky wing,
About the cedarn alleys fling
Nard and Cassia's balmy smells.
Iris there with humid bow
Waters the odorous banks, that blow
Flowers of more mingled hue
Than her purfled scarf can shew,
And drenches with Elysian dew
(List, mortals, if your ears be true),
Beds of hyacinth and roses,
Where young Adonis oft reposes,
Waxing well of his deep wound
In slumber soft, and on the ground
Sadly sits the Assyrian queen :
But far above in spangled sheen
Celestial Cupid, her famed son, advanced,
Holds his dear Psyche sweet entranced.
After her wandering labours long,
Till free consent the gods among
Make her his eternal bride,
And from her fair unspotted side
Two blissful twins are to be born,
Youth and Joy; so Jove hath sworn.
But now my task is smoothly done,
I can fly, or I can run
Quickly to the green earth's end,
Where the bow'd welkin slow doth bend;
And from thence can soar as soon
To the corners of the moon.
Mortals, that would follow me,
Love Virtue ; she alone is free :
She can teach ye how to climb
Higher than the sphery chime;
Or, if Virtue feeble were,
Heaven itself would stoop to her.
The Winged Hours.
Behold! THE rocks are cloven, and through the purple night I see cars drawn by rainbow-winged steeds, Which trample the dim winds : in each there stands A wild-eyed charioteer urging their flight. Some look behind, as fiends pursued them there, And yet I see no shapes but the keen stars : Others, with burning eyes, lean forth, and drink With eager lips the wind of their own speed, As if the thing they loved fled on before, And now, even now, they clasp'd it. Their bright locks Stream like a comet's flashing hair: they all Sweep onward.
These are the immortal Hours,
Of whom thou didst demand. One waits for thee.
In a dim and distant far land,
In a glorious golden star-land,
Out of Time, beyond the Sea,
O'er an empire all agree
Many-peopled, loyal, free,
Queenly rules Mnemosyne !
High enthroned in palace golden,
Fairer Queen was ne'er beholden;
Men of every clime and sea
Bend to her a reverent knee,
Swell her train, and shout with glede
“God save our Queen Mnemosyne !"
All the Arts they call her Mother!
Science, too-their younger brother
Waits upon her, as a lover
Doth around his mistress hover:
Beauty, Order, Liberty,
Environ Queen Mnemosyne !
She inspires their every duty,
Gives to every grace new beauty:
Wit and Fancy to her bring
Many a votive offering ;
The little birds on every tree,
Praise the good Mnemosyne !
She, as in a book, doth read
Every thought and every deed ;
Before her, as an open scroll,
Naked stands the human soul :-
Trembling, fearing, hoping, see-
It supplicates Mnemosyne !
Every heart with grief o'erladen,
Every love-distracted maiden,
Slaves who toil beneath the line,
Wretches who in dungeons pine ;
All to her for refuge flee,
Powerful Mnemosyne !
Sin, and Shame, and Misery,
All despairing souls that be,
Own her power for good or ill,
Court her favour, dread her will.
As in a mirror, Destiny
Reflects the great Mnemosyne!
Mighty kings bow down to her,
Yea, and all that ever were,
High, or low, or bond, or free,
Who hath empire wide as she
Out of Time, beyond the Sea-
Sovereign Queen Mnemosyne ?
He saw thro' lite and death, thro' good and ill,
He saw thro' his own soul.
The marvel of the everlasting will,
An open scroll,
Before him lay: with echoing feet he threaded
The secretest walks of fame:
The viewless arrows of his thoughts were headed
And wing'd with flame.
Love had he found in huts where poor men lie;
His daily teachers had been woods and rills,
The silence that is in the starry sky,
The sleep that is among the lonely hills.