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145

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 heave his head
From golden slumber on a bed
Of heaped Elysian flowers, and hear
Such strains as would have won the ear
Of Pluto to have quite set free
His half-regained Eurydice.
These delights if thou canst give, X
Mirth, with thee I mean to live.

150

IL PENSEROSO

Hence, vain, deluding Joys,

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

Qr fill the fixed mind with all your toys! 8 Dwell in some idle brain, her

And fancies Fond with(găudy 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) 4 To hit the sense of human sight, 16 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 starred Ethiop queen that strove
20 To set her beauty's praise above

The Sea-Nymph's, and their powers offended.
Yet thou art higher far descended:
Thee bright-haired Vesta long of yore

To solitary Saturn bore;
* His laughter she; in Saturn's reign,

to be

C

Such mixture was not held a stain.
Oft sin 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, steadfast, and demure,
All in a robe of darkest grain,
Flowing with majestic train,
And sable stole of cypress lawn
Over thy decent shoulders. drawn o n
Come; but keep thy wonted State,
With even step, and musing gait,
And looks commercing with the skies, ,.
Thy rapt soul sitting in thine eyes:
There, held in holy passion still,
Forget thyself to marble, till
With a sad Teaden 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 retirèd 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-wheelèd throne,
The Cherub Contemplation;

55 And the mute Silence hist. along,
X 'Less Philomel will deign a song,

In her sweetest saddest plight,
Smoothing the rugged brow of Night,-

While Cynthia checks her dragon yoke
V60 Gently o'er th' accustomed oak.

Sweet bird, that shunn'st the noise of folly,
Most musical, most melancholy!

Thee, chauntress, oft the woods among
į I woo, to hear thy even-song;
65 And, missing thee, I walk unseen

On the dry smooth-shaven green,
To behold the wandering moon,
Riding near her highest noon,

Like one that had been led astray 70 Through the heaven's wide pathless way,

And oft, as if her head she bowed,
Stooping through a fleecy cloud.
Oft, on a plat of rising ground,

I hear the far-off curfew sound, 76 Over some wide-watered shore,

Swinging slow with sullen roar;
Or, if the air will not permit,
Some still removed place will fit,
Where glowing embers through the room
80 Teach light to counterfeit a gloom,

Far from all resort of mirth,
Save the cricket on the hearth,
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 tower,
Where I may oft outwatch 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 forsook
Her mansion in this fleshly nook;
And of those demons that are found
In fire, air, flood, or underground,
Whose power hath a true consent
With planet or with element.
Sometime let gorgeous Tragedy
In sceptred pall come sweeping by,
Presenting Thebes, or Pelops' line,
Or the tale of Troy divine.
Or what (though rare) of later age
Ennobled hath the buskined stage.
But, O sad Virgin! that thy power
Might raise Musæus from his bower;
Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing
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 Algarsife,
And who had Canace to wife,

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