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With two sister Graces more
To ivy-crowned Bacchus bore :
Or whether (as some sager sing)
The frolic wind that breathes the spring
Zephyr, with Aurora playing,
As he met her once a-Maying -
There on beds of violets blue
And fresh-blown roses wash'd in dew
Fill'd her with thee, a daughter fair,
So buxom, blithe, and debonair.

Haste thee, Nymph, and bring with thee
Jest, and youthful jollity,
Quips, and cranks, and wanton wiles,
Nods, and becks, and wreathéd smiles
Such as hang on Hebe's cheek,
And love to live in dimple sleek ;
Sport that wrinkled Care derides,
And 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 thee honour due
Mirth, admit me of thy crew,
To live with her, and live with thee
In unreproved pleasures free;
To hear the lark begin his flight
And singing startle the dull night
From his watch-tower in the skies,
Till the dappled dawn doth rise ;
Then to come, in spite of sorrow,
And at my window bid good-morrow
Through the sweetbriar, 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 listening how the hounds and horn
Cheerly rouse the slumbering morn,
From the side of some hoar hill,
Through the high wood echoing shrill.
Sometime walking, not unseen,
By hedge-row elms, on hillocks green,
Right against the eastern gate
Where the great Sun begins his state
Robed 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 milkmaid singeth blithe,
And the mower whets his scythe,
And every 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 gray,
Where the nibbling flocks do stray ;
Mountains, on whose barren breast
The labouring clouds do often rest;
Meadows trim with daisies pied,
Shallow brooks, and rivers wide;
Towers and battlements it sees
Bosom’d high in tufted trees,
Where perhaps some Beauty lies,
The Cynosure of neighbouring 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 bower 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 sun-shine holy-day,
Till the live-long day-light fail :
Then to the spicy nut-brown ale,
With stories told of many a feat,
How jaery Mab the junkets eat;
She was pinch’d, and pull’d, she said ;
And he, by friar's lantern led ;
Tells how the drudging Goblin 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-labourers could not end ;
Then lies him 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 matin rings.

Thus done the tales, to bed they creep. By whispering winds soon lull'd asleep:

Tower'd 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 Shakspeare, 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 linkéd 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 flowers, 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.

7. Milton

CXIII

IL PENSEROSO

ENCE, vain deluding Joys,

of father bred :

How little you bestead

Or fill the fixéd 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 sunbeans, 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 :

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