« PreviousContinue »
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 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 forfook
Her mansion in this fleshly nook :
And of those Dæmons 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,
Ennobied hath the buskin'd stage.
But, О fad virgin, that thy power
Might raise Mufæus from his bower,
Or bid the soul of Orpheus fing
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 Algarfife,
And who had Canace to wife,
That own'd the virtuous ring and glass,
And of the wond'rous horse of brass,
On which the Tartar king did ride;
And if aught elfe, great bards beside,
In fage and folemn tunes have fung,
Of tourneys and of trophies hung,
Of forests, and enchantments 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 frounc'd as she was wont,
With the Attic boy to hunt,
But kerchief'd in a comely cloud,
While rocking winds are piping loud,
Or usher'd with a shower still,
When the guft 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 ftroke, 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 fing, 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 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 cloyster's pale,
And love the high embowed roof,
With antique pillars maffy proof,
And storied windows richly dight,
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
Diffolve me into extafies,
And bring all heav'n before mine eyes.
And may at last my weary age,
Find out the peaceful hermitage,
The hairy gown and moffy cell,
Where I may fit and rightly spell
Of ev'ry star that heav'n 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.
C H A P. XVIII.
THE PROGRESS OF LIFE.
LL the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players ;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts :
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his fatchel,
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woful ballad
Made to his mistress' eye-brow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel ;
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly, with good capon lin’d,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise faws and modern instances,
And so he plays his part, The fixth age shifts
Into the lean and flipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose, and pouch on fide ;
His youthful hose well fav'd, a world too wide
For his shrunk Mank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes,
And whistles in his found. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness, and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, fans eyes, fans taste, fans every thing.
CH A P.
THE ENTRY OF BOLINGBROKE AND RICHARD
DUKE AND DUTCHESS of York. Durch. Y Lord, you told me, you would tell the ,
rest, When weeping made you break the story off, Of our two cousins coming into London.
York. Where did I leave?
Dutch. At that fad ftop, my Lord,
Where rude misgovern'd hands, from window-tops,
Threw dust and rubbish on King Richard's head.
YORK. Then, as I said, the Duke, great Bolingbroke!
Mounted upon a hot and fiery steed,
Which his afpiring rider feem'd to know,
With flow, but stately pace, kept on his course;
While all tongues cried, God save thee, Bolingbroke!
You would have thought the very windows fpake,
So many greedy looks of young and old
Through casements darted their defiring eyes
Upon his visage ; and that all the walls
With painted imag’ry had said at once,
Jesu preserve thee! welcome, Bolingbroke!
Whilft he, from one side to the other turning,
Bare-headed, lower than his proud steed's neck,
Bespoke them thus : I thank you countrymen;
And thus ftill doing, thus he pafs'd along.
Dutch. Alas! poor Richard, where rides he the while?
York. As in a theatre, the eyes of men, After a well-grac'd actor leaves the stage,