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ON THE MORNING OF CHRIST'S NATIVITY 53

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In dismal dance about the furnace blue;
The brutish gods of Nile as fast,
Isis, and Orus, and the dog Anubis, haste. ;

XXIV

Nor is Osiris seen

In Memphian grove or green,
Trampling the unshowered grass with lowings loud;
Nor can he be at rest

Within his sacred chest;
Nought but profoundest Hell can be his shroud;
In vain, with timbreled anthems dark,

219 The sable-stolèd Sorcerers bear his worshiped ark.

XXV
He feels from Juda's land

The dreaded Infant's hand;
The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn;
Nor all the gods beside

Longer dare abide,
Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine:
Our Babe, to show his Godhead true,
Can in his swaddling bands control the damnèd crew.

XXVI
So, when the Sun in bed,
Curtained with cloudy red,

23 Pillows his chin upon an orient wave,

The flocking shadows pale

Troop to the infernal jail, Each fettered ghost slips to his several grave, And the yellow-skirted Fays Fly after the night-steeds, leaving their naoon-loved

maze.

XXVII
But see! the Virgin blest

Hath laid her Babe to rest,
Time is our tedious song should here have ending:
Heaven's youngest-teemèd star

240 Hath fixed her polished car, Her sleeping Lord with handmaid lamp attending; And all about the courtly stable Bright-harnessed Angels sit in order serviceable.

ON HIS BEING ARRIVED TO THE AGE

OF TWENTY-THREE
How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,

Stolen on his wing my three and twentieth year!
My hasting days fly on with full career,

But my late spring no bud or blossom shew'th.
Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth,

That I to manhood am arrived so near,
And inward ripeness doth much less appear,

That some more timely-happy spirits endu'th.
Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow,

It shall be still in strictest measure even

To that same lot, however mean or high, Toward which Time leads me, and the will of Heaven. All is, if I have grace to use it so, As ever in my great Task-master's eye.

L’ALLEGRO HENCE, loathèd Melancholy,

Of Cerberus and blackest Midnight born, In Stygian cave forlorn, ''Mongst horrid shapes, and shrieks, and sights

unholy!

Find out some uncouth cell,
Where brooding Darknesss preads his jealous

wings,
And the night-raven sings;

There under ebon shades, and low-browed rocks, As ragged as thy locks, In dark Cimmerian desert ever dwell.

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But come, thou Goddess fair and free,
In heaven yclep'd Euphrosyne,
And by men, heart-easing Mirth,
Whom lovely Venus at a birth
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 washed in dew,
Filled 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 wreathed 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. I
Come, and trip it as ye 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,

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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 sweet-briar 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 hedgerow 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 furrowed land,
And the milkmaid singeth blithe,
And the mower whets his scythe,
And every shepherd tells his tale v
Under the hawthorn in the dale.

Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures, Whilst the landscape round it measures;

70 Russet lawns, and fallows gray, Where the nibbling flocks do stray; Mountains on whose barren breast

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The labouring clouds do often rest;
Meadows trim with daisies pied;
Shallow brooks, and rivers wide.
Towers and battlements it sees
Bosomed 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 hearbs 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 tanned haycock in the mead.

Sometimes with secure delight
The upland hamlets will invite,
When the merry bells ring round,
And the jocond rebecks sound
To many a youth and many a maid
Dancing in the chequered shade;
And young and old come forth to play
On a sunshine holiday,
Till the livelong daylight fail:
Then to the spicy nut-brown ale,
With stories told of many a feat,
How fairy Mab the junkets eat:
She was pinched and pulled, 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 thresho he corn

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