網頁圖片
PDF

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 list'ning how the hounds and horn
Cheerly rouse the slumb’ring morn,
From the side of some hoar hill,
Through the high wood echoing shrill :
Some time walking, not unseen,
By hedge-row elms, on hillocks green,
Right against the eastern gate,
Where the great sun begins his state,
Rob'd in flames, and amber light,
The clouds in thousand liveries dight;
While the plowman, 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 landskip round it measures,
Russet lawns, and fallows gray,
Where the nibbling flocks do stray ;
Mountains, on whose barren breast
The lab'ring 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 neighb'ring eyes.
Hard by a cottage chimney smokes,
From betwixt two aged oaks,
Where Corydon and Thyrsis, met,
Are at their savory dinner set

[ocr errors][merged small]

of herbs, and other country messes,
Which the neat-handed Phillis dresses ;
And then in haste her bow'r she leaves,
With Thestylis to bind the sheaves ;
Or, if the earlier season lead, T
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 rebecs 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 sunshine holy-day,
Till the live-long day-light fail:
Then to the spicy nut-brown ale,
With stories told of many a feat,
How fairy Mab the junkets eat;
She was pinch’d, and pull’d, she said ;
And he, by friar's lanthorn led,
Tells how the drudging goblin sweat,
To earn his cream-bowl duly set,
When in one night, ere glimpse of morn,
His sbadowy flail hath thresh'd the corn,
That ten day-lab'rers could not end;
Then lies him down the labbar-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 whisp'ring winds soon lull'd asleep.
Tow'red 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:

125

130

135

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-tred 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, 1
| 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, I
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.

140

145

150

XIV.

IL PENSEROSO, HENCE, vain deluding joys,

The brood of Folly without father bred! How little you bested,

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'er-laid 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

ZO
The Sea-Nymphs, and their pow'rs 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,

25 Such mixture was not held a stain:) Oft in glimmering bow'rs 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,

19. “That starr'd Ethiop queen".......Cassiope, wife of Cepheus.

30

[ocr errors]

All in a robe of darkest grain, Flowing with majestic train, And sable stole of Cyprus lawn, Over thy decent shoulders drawn. Come, but keep thy wonted state, With even step, and musing gait, And looks commércing with the skies, Thy rapt soul sitting in thine eyes : There, held in holy passion still, Forget thyself to marble, till With a sad leaden downward cast Thou fix them on the earth as fast: And join with thee calm Peace, and Quiet, Spare Fast, that oft with Gods doth diet, And hears the Muses in a ring Aye round about Jove's altar sing: And add to these retired Leisure, That in trim gardens takes his pleasure: But first, and chiefest, with thee bring, Him that yon soars on golden wing, Guiding the fiery-wheeled throne, The cherub Contemplation; And the mute Silence hist along, Less Philomel will deign a song, In her sweetest, saddest plight, Smoothing the rugged brow of night While Cynthia checks her dragon yoke, Gently o'er th' accustom'd oak; Sweet bird, that shunn'st the noise of folly. Most musical, most melancholy ! Thee, chauntress, oft, the woods among, I woo, to hear thy even-song; And, missing thee, I walk unseen On the dry smooth-shaven green, To behold the wand'ring moon, Riding near her highest noon, Like one that had been led astray Through the Heav'n's wide pathless wa'y ; And oft, as if her head she bow'd, Stooping through a fleecy cloud. Ost, on a plat of rising ground,

« 上一頁繼續 »