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But, swoln with wind, and the rank mist they draw,
Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread :
Besides what the grim wolf with privy piw,
Daily devours apace, and nothing said,
Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more.
Return, Alpheus, the dread voice is past, That shrunk thy streams; return, Sicilian Muse, And call the vales, and bid them hither cast Their bells and flowerets of a thousand hues. Ye valleys low, where the mild whispers use Of shades, and wanton winds, and gushing brooks, On whose fresh lap the swart-star sparely looks, Throw hither all your quaint enamelled eyes,
And purple all the ground with vernal flowers.
Bring the rath primrose that forsaken dies,
The tufted crow-toe, and pale jessamine,
The white pink, and the pansy freaked with jet,
The glowing violet,
The musk-rose, and the well attired woodbine,
With cowslips wan, that hang the pensive head,
And every flower that sad embroidery wears :
Bid amaranthus all his beauty shed,
And daffodillies fill their cups with tears,
To strew the Laureat hearse where Lycid lies.
For, so to interpose a little ease,
Let our frail thoughts dally with false surmise.
Ah me! Whilst thee the shores and sounding seas
Wash far away, where'er thy bones are hurled,
Whether beyond the stormy Hebrides,
Where thou perhaps, under "he whelming tide
Visit'st the bottom of the monstrous world ;
Or whether thou, to our moist vows denied,
Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old,
Where the great vision of the guarded mount,
Look homeward, Angel, now, and melt with ruth; And, 0 ye dolphins, waft the hapless youth.
Weep no more, woful shepherds, weep no more,
Sunk though he be beneath the watery floor ;
So sinks the day-star in the ocean bed,.
And yet anon repairs his drooping head,
And tricks his beams, and with new-spangled ore
Flames in the forehead of the morning sky:
So Lycidas sunk low, but mounted high,
Through the dear might of Him that walked the waves
Where other groves and other streams along,
With nectar pure his.oozy locks he laves,
And hears th' unexpressive nuptial song,
In the blest kingdoms meek of joy and love.
There entertain him all the saints above,
In solemn troops, and sweet societies,
That sing, and, singing in their glory move,
And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes.
Now, Lycidas, the shepherds weep no more ;
Henceforth thou art the Genius of the shore,
To all that wander in that perilous flood
Lady. This way the noise was, if mine ear be true.
My best guide pow; methought it was the sound
Of riot and ill-managed merriment,
Such as the jocund flute, or gamesome pipe,
Stirs up among the loose unlettered hinds,
When for their teeming flocks and granges full,
In wanton dance they praise the bounteous Pan.
And thank the Gods amiss. I should be loth
To meet the rudeness and swilled insolence
Of such late wassailers; yet oh, where else
Shall I inform my unacquainted feet,
In the blind mazes of this tangled wood ?
My brothers, when they saw me wearied out
With this long way, resolving here to lodge
Under the spreading favour of these pines,
Stept, as they said, to the next thicket side,
To bring me berries, or such cooling fruit
As the kind hospitable woods provide.
They left me then, when the gray-hooded even,
Like a sad votarist in Palmer's weed,
Rose from the hindmost wheels of Phæbus' wain.
But where they are, and why they came not back,
Is now the labour of my thoughts ; 'tis likeliest
They had engaged their wandering steps too far,
And envious darkness, e'er they could return,
Had stole them from me; else, O thievish night,
Why shouldst thou, but for some felonious end,
In thy dark lantern thus close up the stars,
That nature hung in Heaven, and filled their lamps
With everlasting oil, to give due light
To the misled and lonely traveller ?
This is the place, as well as I may guess,
Whence even now the tumult of loud mirth
Was rife and perfect in my listening ear;
Yet nought but single darkness do I find.
What might this be? A thousand fantasies
Begin to throng into my memory,
Of calling shapes, and beckoning shadows dire,
And airy tongues that syllable men's names
On sands, and shores, and desert wildernesses.
These thoughts may startle well, but not astound
The virtuous mind, that ever walks attended
By a strong siding champion, Conscience.
O welcome pure-eyed Faith, white-handed Hope,
Thou hovering angel, girt with golden wings;
And thou, unblemished form of Chastity,
I see ye visibly, and now believe
That he, the Supreme Good, t'whom all things ill
Are but as slavish officers of vengeance,
Would send a glist'ring guardian, if need were,
To keep my life and honour unassailed.
Was I deceived, or did a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night ?
I did not err, there does a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night,
And cast a gleam over this tufted grove.
I cannot halloo to my brothers, but
Such noise as I can make to be heard farthest
I'll venture; for my new enlivened spirits
Prompt me; and they perhaps are not far off.
Within thy airy shell,
By slow Meander's margent green,
And in the violet embroidered vale,
Where the love-lorn nighingale
Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth wel ;
Canst not tell me of a gentle pair
That likest thy Narcissus are ?
Oh if thou have
Hid them in some flowery cave,
Tell me but where,
Sweet Queen of parly, daughter of the sphere,
So may'st thou be translated to the skies,
And give resounding grace to all Heaven's harmonies
Comus. Can any mortal mixture of earth's mould.
Breathe such divine, enchanting ravishment;
Sure something holy lodges in that breast,
And with these raptures moves the vocal air
To testify his hidden residence :
Ilow sweetly did they float upon the wings
At every fall, smoothing the raven down
Of darkness till it smiled! I have oft heard
My mother Circe, with the Syrens three,
Amidst the flow'ry-kirtled Naiades,
Culling their potent herbs and baleful drugs,
Wl:o as they sung, would take the prisoned soul
And lap it in Elysium ; Scylla wept,