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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 have his head, From golden slumber, on a bed Of heap'd Elysian flowers, and hear Such strains, as would have won the eas 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.
Hence, vain deluding joys,
Or fill the fixed mind with all your toys ! Dwell in some idle brain,
And fancies fond with gaudy shapes possess 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, Whilst 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,